The final league matches were played today – resulting in wins for Les Lions, who defeated Valiente 8-6 and Monterosso Polo Team, who beat RH Polo 11-8. Sadly for Monterosso this win came a little late and they are now out of the tournament, alongside Clinova and El Remanso.
Although it was already clear which teams would make up the last eight, it was unlikely that today was ever going to be dull. To start with Eduardo Novillo Astrada donned a Les Lions shirt for the first time, replacing an injured Guillermo Terrera. Then Valiente saw a change in personnel half-way through their game, with 13-year-old Adolfo Cambiaso jnr, known affectionately by all as Poroto (pictured left), joining his father on the field in place of team patron Rob Jornayvaz. Clearly a chip off the Cambiaso block, he not only scored the penultimate goal of this match, but played with a confidence and style well beyond his 13 years. Tomorrow father and son will be in action again, this time in the 15-goal Out-Sourcing Royal Windsor Cup tournament, playing under the La Dolfina banner, and will definitely be a team to watch.
Les Lions’ victory also meant that a penalty shootout was needed to determine the final placings for League One as three teams – Les Lions, Emlor and Valiente – had finished the league stages with three goals apiece. The shootout was won by Les Lions, giving them second place in the League, but also setting themselves up for a tough quarter-final on Sunday afternoon against La Bamba de Areco, who won their final game yesterday. Meanwhile, Valiente’s next game is against Talandracas, one of the automatic qualifiers after last weekend’s matches. Plenty of talent from these two squads, no doubt guaranteeing players and spectators alike a fast-paced and thrilling quarter-final contest on Saturday afternoon. La Indiana also earned their quarter-final tickets last weekend and they will play Emlor this Sunday. That just leaves the team that headed League One - RH Polo – and the newest team in the group, Park Place, in the first quarter-final of the competition. Sapo Caset, Min Podesta and Rodrigo de Andrade v Juan Britos, Tommy Beresford and Hilario Ulloa should deliver a great contest and the ideal opener for a weekend of thrilling, 22-goal polo.