By International Polo Club. All photos © David Lominska/IPC.
The first quarterfinal of the Ylvisaker Cup saw 10-goalers Sapo Caset and Adolfo Cambiaso go mano-a-mano Saturday.
High-scorer of the game, Caset was effective both from the field and the penalty line. He led Tonkawa to an 8-6 victory over Valiente I, slamming in five goals to Cambiaso’s one.
The tenor of the game was clear from the get-go: It was going to be a close contest all the way through. Neither Caset nor Cambiaso was about to give an inch while there was still a breath left in them. Each rode home with a yellow card for their concerted efforts in the second half.
Although both teams had a megastar player, this was truly an eight-man game, with everyone playing tight-as-glue team defense.
Valiente got off to an early 1-0 lead on a goal by Felipe Viana, soon to be matched by Caset on a penalty 4 conversion.
Victorino Ruiz Jorba added another goal from the field for Valiente I, who closed the first chukker with a 2-1 advantage.
Tonkawa seemed to control play in the second, although none of their four shots at goal went through. Valiente I only shot at goal once that chukker, with Cambiaso converting a penalty 3 attempt to preserve Valiente’s 1-goal lead.
A bit of foul trouble for Tonkawa in the third chukker gave Valiente I two penalty chances (one from the 60-yard line and one from the 40), but they couldn’t convert either opportunity.
Caset scored his third consecutive goal for Tonkawa, this time finishing off a long run, with support from Jeff Hildebrand holding out the Valiente I defense. The score stood 3-all at halftime.
Tonkawa once again began to generate scoring chances, shooting at goal 3 times in the fourth but unable to convert. While Tonkawa was struggling to score from the field, Valiente I had their own issues from the penalty line.
Cambiaso missed another penalty 3 shot. Each team scored 1 goal in the fourth chukker and 2 in the fifth, with neither ever holding more than a single-goal lead as the game came down to the final chukker.
Tonkawa’s prowess at generating shots at goal eventually caught up with Valiente I. Tonkawa fired 5 more shots at goal, this time converting twice while not allowing Valiente I even one shot at goal.
To make matters worse for Valiente I, Tonkawa did not foul in the final chukker, preventing their opponent from getting any opportunities from the penalty line. Despite only shooting 5-of-18 from the field, Tonkawa capitalized on a team effort.
Costi Caset, Facundo Obregon and Hildebrand each contributed one goal. Tonkawa took every advantage possible from the penalty line, where they converted 1 of 5 penalty shots to hang on for an 8-6 victory and advance to the semifinals.
The last three quarterfinal matches in the Ylvisaker Cup take place Sunday at the International Polo Club Palm Beach, which is hosting the tournament.
In the 3 p.m. featured match on Engel & Völkers field, the other Jornayvaz team, Valiente II, faces Coca-Cola. Orchard Hill plays Horseware on Isla Carroll East at 10 a.m., followed by Villa del Lago Modere vs. Postage Stamp at noon on field 4.
All games in the 2017 Ylvisaker Cup are being live streamed on the USPA Polo Network: uspolo.org.
Game report, stats and photographs provided by International Polo Club Palm Beach.