A thrilling conclusion marked the second round of play in the 2020 King Power Gold Cup began with an impressive performance from Next Generation in the 15-10 victory over Monterosso, while the second match produced an exciting upset as Thai Polo NW stunned Park Place 12-11 on the grounds at Cowdray Park Polo Club.
After an opening round loss to Les Lions/Great Oaks, Next Generation displayed their prowess against Monterosso, led by the father-son duo of Adolfo and Poroto Cambiaso, who finished with five goals each. A relentless offense from Next Generation produced 23 shots at goal and controlled possession, leaving Monterosso struggling to keep pace due to inaccurate penalty shooting in the second half which ultimately sealed the 15-10 victory in favour of Next Generation.
Scoring on the opening play of the game, Poroto Cambiaso quickly erased the one-goal advantage Monterosso had on handicap. An evenly matched first chukka resulted in Monterosso reclaiming their lead on goals from Guillermo Terrera and Jeronimo del Carril. Next Generation raced into the lead, relying on the duo of Adolfo Cambiaso and David Stirling, utilizing their chemistry from years of playing together on La Dolfina to score three goals and push ahead of Monterosso. A balanced attack to end the half from Next Generation provided difficulties for Monterosso as they were unable to stop all facets of the Next Generation offense. A goal each from Stirling, Poroto Cambiaso and Adolfo Cambiaso gave Next Generation the two-goal lead at halftime.
Monterosso had their opportunities throughout the second half to close the deficit, but converted just one of their four penalty attempts, resulting in Next Generation maintaining their stronghold on the game. Adolfo Cambiaso opened the fourth chukka with two goals, extending his team’s lead to three despite converting just two of their first 10 shot attempts in the half. Ignacio Toccalino and Terrera contributed a goal each in the sixth chukka, but the victory for Next Generation was secured on Poroto Cambiaso’s fourth and fifth goals of the game to complete the 15-10 victory.
Attention turned to the second match of the day with Park Place looking to join Les Lions/Great Oaks as the only two undefeated teams, but faced a tough Thai Polo NW team that stunned the elite Park Place team consisting of Facundo and Gonzalito Pieres. Behind seven goals from Juan Martin Zubia and an organized defence that limited the scoring opportunities for Park Place, Thai Polo NW used their extra shot attempts from the field to hold off a late comeback attempt from Park Place to narrowly claim the 12-11 victory.
The opening two chukkas featured efficient polo on both sides of the ball with Park Place executing their two-man game with Facundo and Gonzalito Pieres, while Thai Polo NW responded with a duo of their own in Juan Martin Zubia and Jack Richardson. Deadlocked at 4-4 after the second chukka, the momentum of the game switched in a decisive third chukka as Thai Polo NW’s Zubia overwhelmed Park Place with three goals and an assist to Ned Hine. The impressive display to end the half broke the tie and gave Thai Polo NW the commanding 8-5 lead at halftime, leaving Park Place in need of offense in the second half.
10-goaler Facundo Pieres made an early impact in the second half, scoring his third goal while also setting up Kian Hall to slowly close the gap, but in one of the most noteworthy chukkas of the tournament, Thai Polo NW dominated the fifth chukka, preventing Park Place from producing a single attempt at goal. A goal each from Zubia, Hine and Rodrigo Rueda resulted in Thai Polo NW holding a commanding five-goal lead with just one chukka remaining. Unwilling to concede defeat, Gonzalito Pieres fought to send the game to overtime, converting two penalty attempts while also adding a field goal, but the deficit was too much to overcome as Thai Polo NW escaped with the thrilling 12-11 victory who won the Cooch Behar Cup for this game.