Players of IFZA Habtoor Polo and Bangash Dodson & Horrell Polo in action.
Gulf Today, Staff Reporter
The IFZA Gold Cup 2023 semi-finals were a showdown between the top four teams of the season.
The highlight of the day was the much-awaited match between UAE Polo and AM Polo, which began with an opening goal by Isidro Strada.
The UAE Polo quickly took control of the game, ending the second chukker with a four-goal lead. The UAE team players in white extended two more goals in the third, with Strada and Bejamin Urquiza each scoring one goal each for AM Polo, with the score of 7 goals to 3 by halftime.
In the penultimate chukker, it was Tommy Beresford and Lucas Monteverde Jr., each scoring one goal for the UAE Polo. The AM polo managed to squeeze in two goals over the last chukker but fell short, and the IFZA Silver Cup 2023 winners marched their way through the finals with a final score of 10 goals to 5.
The last spot for the chance at the most coveted trophy of the Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series was a match between IFZA Habtoor Polo and Bangash Dodson & Horrell Polo teams.
The first chukker saw three goals by the IFZA Habtoor Polo, and one goal by Bangash Dodson & Horrell Polo. Both teams displayed defensive and impressive polo skills, particularly from IFZA Habtoor Polo’s number two and three players, Matthew Perry and Bautista Bayugar, who helped advance their team to a 2-goal lead. Ignacio Negri brought his team closer by scoring two goals, but the IFZA Habtoor Polo team was still leading with 7 goals to 5 at halftime, with Mohammed Al Habtoor scoring one goal for the team. In the last chukker, Federico Von Potobsky managed to tie the game at 8 goals, making it an intense final minutes.
However, it was Bayugar who made the last hit of the game with a long shot goal, quickly turning things around and securing a victory for IFZA Habtoor Polo with 9 goals to 8. This win has taken the team to the finals of the IFZA Gold Cup 2023.