Argentina were victorious in a spectacular end to the Fortune Heights Super Nations Cup today, Friday 5th October, claiming a 9-8 win in the Final over the USA, at the Tianjin Goldin Metropolitan Polo Club.
A flurry of goals marked the beginning of the match, both teams converting a total of nine between them in the opening two chukkas. Argentina fell behind early on, with a double strike from US Captain Mike Azzaro setting the pace. The lead didn’t last long as the Argentines began to take control of the game, levelling by the end of the first chukka, and subsequently scoring four unanswered goals in the second after the USA had initially gone ahead, making it 6-3.
The third chukka broke the trend, as neither team could find a way past their opponents in a goalless seven minutes. Usual service resumed in the second half though as both teams converted penalties, before the Americans staged a fantastic comeback, bringing themselves to within a goal of the South Americans as time ran out in the penultimate chukka.
Mason Wroe completed the fight back, levelling the teams in open play, only for Argentina to come straight back with goals from Raul Laplacette and Santiago Cernandas, taking the Argentines into a lead that they would hold until the final whistle, despite a late effort from Kris Kampson which found its way in.
After seeing his team lift the trophy, Argentina Captain Juan Ambroggio commented, “The USA played very well, especially in the final half when it was really close right up until the end. We were lucky to control the game like we did but it is a great feeling to have won the competition!
“It has been a wonderful new experience to visit and play polo in China. The facilities at the Tianjin Goldin Metropolitan Polo Club are amazing, and it’s heading towards being one of the best polo venues in the world; I definitely want to come back!”
MVP in the Final and USA captain, Mike Azzaro, added, “The team played well but we missed a lot of goal scoring opportunities, whereas Argentina took their chances. It was disappointing but we’ve had an excellent time in Tianjin and have wholeheartedly enjoyed it. The tournament has been very professionally run, the people have been welcoming and generous, and I think polo has a promising future here.”
The Final brought the Fortune Heights Super Nations Cup to a close with many of the players playing in China for the first time. “Tianjin is quickly becoming a premier polo destination, which makes it a really exciting place to be. The Super Nations Cup has been organised exceptionally well, and although we didn’t get the results we’d hoped for, I will certainly be returning here as I have loved every minute,” said James Beim, captain of the fourth placed England team.
Behind Argentina and the USA in the competition was Hong Kong who claimed third in the Subsidiary Final, followed by England. The South Americans also reigned victorious in the Under-16 competition, beating England in the Youth Final, with South Africa third and the USA behind them.
The Tianjin Goldin Metropolitan Polo Club will next host the FIP Snow Polo World Cup Invitational in January 2013. To see replays of all the matches from the Fortune Heights Super Nations Cup, please go to www.hurlinghampolo.com, www.tvb.com and www.us-polo.org.
Revolution Sports + Entertainment
Tel: +44 (0)207 592 1207