Argentina reigned victorious in the Final of the inaugural Fortune Heights Super Nations Cup, coming out on top over a world-class line up of polo teams, including England, Hong Kong and the USA. Marcus Araya led the scoring for the South Americans notching up an impressive seven goals in the two-round tournament; his team crowned champions in the Final after a 9-8 win over the USA, alongside teammates Santiago Cernadas, Juan Ambroggio, and Raul Laplacette.
A host of polo’s top players took part in the 24-goal competition which was played out at China’s most exclusive venue, the Tianjin Goldin Metropolitan Polo Club, from the 1-5 October. 65 goals were scored in total across all of the four matches, in what was a fiercely contested and highly exciting tournament, as teams looked to stake a claim to a total of the $430,000 sponsorship on offer.
The opening game saw Hong Kong defeated by the USA on penalties after a deadlock score line in normal time. England succumbed to a 10-8 defeat in the second semi-final against Argentina, subsequently losing the Subsidiary Final which gave Hong Kong a third placed finish. The championship was brought to a fitting end in an electrifying Final which could have seen either team win, after a close affair was ended thanks to a final burst of goals from the Argentines in the sixth chukka clinching the trophy.
Commenting on the match, tournament MVP and USA Captain Mike Azzaro said, “The team didn’t take their chances in the match; we missed about eight or nine opportunities which should have been converted. I also had a bit of a heavy fall during the second half which personally set me back. However credit has to go to the Argentina team who took their goals well, and overall it’s been excellent and we’ve really enjoyed being here.”
Argentina’s winning Captain, Juan Ambroggio, added, “It was a very close game, especially at the end when they drew level, and it could go have gone either way. USA played very well so we were lucky to control the game as we did, but we got the victory so the team are really pleased!”
With players and spectators full of praise for the international event, the Federation of International Polo (FIP), who sanctioned the competition, hopes that the success of the Fortune Heights Super Nations Cup will see the popularity of polo continue to increase in China and its surrounding regions. “Tianjin is quickly becoming a premier polo destination, which makes it an exciting place to be. The Super Nations Cup has been organised exceptionally well, and I hope to return here as I have had a great time,” commented James Beim, captain of the fourth placed England team.
A youth competition for under-16 players was also played out throughout the five days with Argentina claiming victory once again, defeating England’s youth team 7-5 ½ in the Final, followed by South Africa in third and fourth place for the USA.
The Tianjin Goldin Metropolitan Polo Club was opened in November 2010, and is quickly establishing itself within the sport of polo as one of the world’s leading venues. Built as the flagship of Hong Kong-listed developer Goldin Properties Holdings Limited, the club currently comprises two standard size polo fields, stabling for 205 horses, all-weather training facilities, a riding school, a luxurious Club House and 167-room resort-style hotel, all maintained by professionals from across the globe.
Following on from last year’s edition, the next international polo event to be staged at the Tianjin Goldin Metropolitan Polo Club will be the FIP Snow Polo World Cup Invitational in January 2013, with further information due to be released in the coming months.
Fortune Heights Super Nations Cup Results
Monday, 1 October 2012
2nd Semi-Finals Super Nations Cup
Hong Kong, China vs. USA 8: 8 (penalties：1:3)
Tuesday, 2 October 2012
2nd Semi-Finals Super Nations Cup
England vs. Argentina 8:10
1st Semi-Finals U16 Teams
Argentina vs. USA 9:1.5
Wednesday, 3 October 2012:
Subsidiary Finals Super Nations Cup
Hong Kong, China vs. England 8-6
2nd Semi-Finals U16 Teams
England vs. South Africa 3½-3
Thursday, 4 October 2012:
Subsidiary Finals U16 Teams
South Africa vs. USA 3-2
Finals U16 Teams
Argentina vs. England 7-5½
Friday, 5 October 2012:
Finals Fortune Heights Super Nations Cup 2012
Argentina vs. USA 8-7
Fortune Heights Super Nations Cup Most Valuable Player
Mike Azzaro, USA
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