The Greatest Polo Players the World Has Ever Seen and 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 Argentinean OPEN Polo Champion Adolpho Cambiaso Salutes the Adoring Capacity Crowd at Palermo Stadium Buenos Aires. Photo: Southfields Real Estate
2016 La Dolfina Battle all the Way to Win the Argentine Open Polo Championships for the 4th Year Running.
Story By Alex Webbe Photography by Helen Cruden
In a game that was tied eight times and saw the lead change hands five times, there was something for everyone to cheer. Ellerstina had beaten the 40-goal La Dolfina Juggernaut in the final of the Hurlingham Open and were hoping to end their Argentina Open winning streak at three. La Dolfina managed to take control in the final chukker to record a 16-12 win, but Ellerstina made them earn it.
Ten-goaler Pelon Stirling opened the scoring for La Dolfina (Adolfo Cambiaso, David Stirling, Pablo MacDonough and Juan Martin Nero) with his eighteenth goal of the Argentine Open for the early 1-0 lead over Ellerstina (Facundo Pieres, Gonzalo Pieres, Polito Pieres and Nico Pieres) before a packed crowd at Saturday’s final of the 2016 Argentine Open Championship. Ellerstina answered back with goals from Nico Pieres and Facundo Pieres for the final two goals of the chukker and a 2-1 advantage.
Facundo Pieres gave Ellerstina a two-goal lead, 3-1, with his second goal of the game for the first score of the second chukker. La Dolfina responded with consecutive goals from Juan Martin Nero and Stirling to tie the game at 3-3 to end the second period. Adolfo Cambiaso scored his first goal of the afternoon for a 4-3 edge and made it 5-3 with a second goal in the opening minutes of the third. Facundo Pieres countered with a pair of goals of his own, 5-5, and Nico Pieres gave Ellerstina the 6-5 edge to close out the period.
Adolfo Cambiaso scored his first goal of the afternoon for a 4-3 edge and made it 5-3 with a second goal in the opening minutes of the third. Facundo Pieres countered with a pair of goals of his own, 5-5, and Nico Pieres gave Ellerstina the 6-5 edge to close out the period. Nearly four and-a-half minutes passed (4:28) in the fourth period before Stirling scored on a pass from Pablo MacDonough to tie the game again, 6-6. Facundo Pieres scored the only other goal of the chukker with a 40-yard penalty conversion at 6:25. The first half ended with Ellerstina on top, 7-6.
Nico Pieres extended the Ellerstina lead to two goals, 8-6, scoring in the opening minute of the fifth. Cambiaso answered back with a goal from the field at 2:07. Nero tied the game with his second goal of the day, 8-8, and Sterling gave the lead to La Dolfina, a minute later, 9-8. Gonzalito Pieres knotted it up again with his first goal of the game to end the scoring in the chukker. With three chukkers left in regulation time, the game was deadlocked, again, 9-9.
Facundo Pieres converted a 40-yard penalty shot at 1:20 of the sixth, giving the lead back to Ellerstina, 10-9. Cambiaso countered with a short penalty shot for a goal to make it 10-10. Gonzalito Pieres and Cambiaso traded goals to end the chukker all even at 11-11. MacDonough scored on a pass from Cambiaso just 24 seconds into the seventh chukker, 12-11. Cambiaso added a 40-yard penalty goal and Stirling scored the final goal of the period for a 14-11 La Dolfina lead.
Stirling scored the first goal of the eighth period as La Dolfina extended their lead to four goals, 15-11. Facundo Pieres picked up a goal for Ellerstina, 15-12, at the 3:37 mark, but time was on La Dolfina’s side. Nero scored the final goal of the game as La Dolfina celebrated their 16-12 victory and their fourth consecutive Argentine Open Championship.
Cambiaso and Stirling led the La Dolfina attack with six goals apiece. Nero added three goals and MacDonough scored once for the win. Facundo Pieres scored a game-high seven goals for Ellerstina. Nico Pieres was credited with three goals and Gonzalito Pieres added two goals in the loss. Stirling was awarded the Gonzalo Tanoira Cup as MVP with his pony, Zippy, receiving the Lady Susan Townley Cup as Best Playing Pony.
Little Adolphi Celebrates his Win with his Mother.