Unbeaten Ghantoot Polo clinch prestigious IFZA Gold Cup crown - GulfToday

Unbeaten Ghantoot Polo clinch prestigious IFZA Gold Cup crown


Ghantoot Polo team members pose for a picture with Nesrine Bengra and other dignitaries.

Gulf Today, Staff Reporter

The much-awaited, 18 goal handicap tournament in the Middle East has concluded with a spectacular finish on the grounds of Al Habtoor Polo Resort and Club.

Two high-intensity games delighted spectators and fans where top teams of the region battled for glory.

The final match of the 12th edition of the prestigious IFZA Gold Cup 2021 was intense from start to finish. The UAE Polo had grabbed the lead early on the game with a flurry of goals from Tomas Panelo.

It was an uphill battle for Ghantoot Polo to score a goal during the second chukker. Raising the stakes, they finally managed to dodge the UAE Polo defense and made an amazing comeback in the third chukker.

Ghantoot Polo ended the chukker with a four-goal advantage with plenty of successful penalty shots from Marcos Araya. The final minutes of the game had seen Cesar Crespo score back-to-back goals for Ghantoot.

Relentless and with a title to defend, the UAE Polo team demonstrated strong offense as the team attempted to catch up to its opponent and brought in 2 more goals from Panelo. The significant goal advantage of Ghantoot Polo kept the team undefeated at 11 goals to 7.

Ghantoot-1-750x450Bangash Polo bag Bentley Cup title after beating Dubai Wolves by CAFU in the subsidiary final.

Earlier, Bangash Polo played against Dubai Wolves by CAFU at the Bentley Cup Subsidiary final. Jacinto Crotto claimed the first goal for the Bangash Polo team, Dubai Wolves on their tail matched it with a pass from Tommy Beresford and Kian chalking up a goal for the team.

The match that ensued had teams neck and neck until halftime. The Bangash Polo team had taken the lead for the first time by the end of the penultimate chukker. The determining chukker had Benjamin Panelo score three consecutive goals that sealed the win for the Bangash Polo team at 10 goals to 7.

Martin Pedersen, Chairman of International Freezone Authority and, Joseph Tayar, General Manager of Al Habtoor Motors Prestige Division - Bentley Emirates, awarded the teams of the day. Cesar Crespo was declared as the Most Valuable Player and Pichot, ridden by Marcos Araya as the Best Playing Pony.

The Gold Cup was held under the Patronage of Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai. Eight well renowned polo teams of the region competed in the tournament.

It was also played under the banner of the Hurlingham Polo Association (HPA) with tournaments being played under strict international supervision according to the HPA rules and provision of its umpires.

The Gold Cup is recognized and certified by the World Polo Tour (WPT) and has grown in parallel with the city of Dubai. It is the only tournament in the UAE (along with the Dubai Silver Cup and Dubai Challenge Cup) carrying this accreditation by WPT.

The Gold Cup is also part of the WPT Championship Cup which is considered as one of the highest competitions in terms of points, on a par with tournaments held in Argentina, Spain, UK and USA.

It awards 125 points to its winners, 65 points to the finalists, 45 points to the semi-finalists and 30 points to all other participating players.

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