The first chukka of the Final of the Veuve Clicquot Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship gave absolutely no clue as to how this match would go down, from a well-balanced, elegant and refined beginnings with one goal each in the first, 3 to 2 in the second, 5 to 3 in the third, just what you would expect from these two high-goal teams, Dubai (Rashid Albwardy, Nico Pieres, Adolfo Cambiaso, and Alec White) and Zacara (Facundo Pieres, Lyndon Lea, Rodrigo Andrade and Matt Perry).
From half-time on, however, it could only properly be called a ‘well-balanced match’ if you put Zacara’s No. 1 Facundo Pieres on the Zacaro side of the balance and the entire Dubai team on the other side. Pieres’ one-man show really dominated the second half. It was truly stunning and breath-taking to see. Actually, that’s a bit unfair. Dubai played brilliantly, and hit some bad breaks and bad luck in the 5th and final chukkas and only scored two more goals, while Pieres wizarded up and down the field at times seemingly all alone.
In the final chukka, Dubai’s 10-goal Adolfo Cambiaso took a nasty painful hit to the leg, which at one point threatened to end his saddle time in this momentous Final, which did not help Dubai’s momentum at all.
As I mentioned in my semi-final report, this was more than a run at the Gold Cup. As a result of this win Pieres earns 150 World Polo Tour points, putting him way out in front as the world’s highest-ranked polo player.