Defending champions Abu Dhabi Polo Team won the prestigious Emirates Open Polo Championship for the second successive year to cement their position as one of the top polo teams in the UAE.
The winners were off the blocks the fastest as they stunned their rivals, Maserati Polo Team, with a snap goal in the first chukker before pumping in three more in the second.
All goals were struck by the mercurial Santiago Cernadas, the Man-of-the-Match from Argentina.
In a game of many heroes, fellow Argentinian professional Santiago Gomez Romario was outstanding alongside the ever supportive Patricio Cieza and team patron Faris Al Yabhouni.
Maserati , who have been through ups and downs in the five-team tournament, were simply no match for Abu Dhabi.
Despite the gallant efforts of Ahmed Bin Dasmal, who played through the pain barrier after picking up an inuring during the game, to even score once, Maserati had to bow to an overall superior outfit.
But to have the large crowd at the Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club applaud them as they did, it must have felt special, even in defeat.
For Al Yabhouni’s team it was a fairy-tale finish as they played a clinical game of polo, by attacking relentlessly and backed by a solid defence.
“The team spirit was at it best in the final,” said atriumphant Al Yabhouni.
“It is a fantastic feeling to win this prestigious tournament for the second successive year, and it feels even better second time around.
“I’m very proud of the way all my team-mates played, not just inthe final, but all through the tournament,” he added.
“This trophy is for the whole team and we hope to be back next year to have another crack at the title.”
Maserati mainstay, Felipe Llorene from Argentia, acknowledged that Abu Dhabi were the better team on the day.
“I think we played a good game, but it was not good enough against a team as strong as Abu Dhabi,” he said.
“They deserve to be champions as they did not drop a single game throughout the tournament.”
The third place plau-off match between Desert Palm Polo Team and Wolves Mahra Polo Team was decided in the over-time chukker with a golden goal scored by the brilliant Matias Macado.
“It was a tough game, Wolves played well,” said Machado. “The Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club is a great stage for a prestigious event like the Emirates Open Polo Championship. We enjoyed every match in a tournament that has always been fiercely competitive.”
Special guests at the final were H.H. Sheikh Zayed Bin Thanoon Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, H.H. Sheikh MohamedBin Suhail Al Maktoum and H.H. Sheikh Ahmed Bin Maid Bin Ali Al Nuaimi.
Five teams with a handicap of +14, played in the tournament hosted by the Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club and supported by Premier Motors, Maserati, the club’s pillar partner.
Teams in final
Maserati Polo Team
Ahmed Bin Dasmal
Luas Diaz Alberdi
Abu Dhabi Polo Team
Faris Al Yabhouni
Santiago Gomez Romaro
Results of final
Abu Dhabi Polo Team beat Maserati Polo Team 8-3
Abu Dhabi: Santiago Cernadas 4; Santiago Gomez Romario 3; Patricio Cieza1
Maserati: Felipe Llorente1; Gregorio Geloxsi 1; Ahmed Bin Dasmal 1
Umpires: Rafael Silva & Martin Aquerre
Refree: Marselo Lupes
Third Place Paly-Off
Desert Palm Polo Team beat Wolves Mahra Polo Team 6-5 (via Golden Goal)
Desert Palm: Matias Machado 3; Maxi Malacalza 2; Juan Jos Stroni 1
Wolves Mahra: Diego Gallego 2; Justo Cuitino 1; Daniel Gardiador 1; Tomas Iriarte 1
- Abu Dhabi Sports Council – Governing Partner
- Maserati – Premier Motors – the official Car for the 2017-2018 season who are presenting the Emirates Open Polo Cup International for the second year.
- ADS Securities – Sponsors of HH President of UAE Polo Cup in 2018
- Jannah Hotels and Resorts – the official Hotel for the 2017-2018 season.
- YAS International Properties – Sponsor from Abu Dhabi
- Anfasic Dokhoon – Official Sponsor.
- Premier Events Management – Official sponsor
- Prestige Gourmet Catering – Official Sponsor
- YAS TV – Official Media Partner
- The Galleria Mall on Maryah Island
- Joi Flowers
- Shower Tower