By Sohail Ali
LAHORE, Feb 26 (APP):BN Polo and Diamond Paints made way to the main finals of the Ittehad Punjab Polo Cup 2021 after winning their respective semifinals played here at the Lahore Polo Club ground on Friday.
Phenomenal Raul Laplacette and Saqib Khan Khakwani steered Diamond Paints to a nail-biting 5-4 victory over Remounts in the first semifinal. Both the players contributed with a brace each for Diamond Paints while Ramiro Zaveletta scored one goal. For Remounts, Ignacio Negri hammered a hat-trick while Vieri Antinori struck one goal.
Diamond Paints dominated the match right from the word go as they thrashed in three back-to-back goals to earn a 3-0 lead. Remounts players made their presence felt in the second chukker when they converted a field goal to reduce the deficit to 3-1, but Diamond Paints succeeded in converting one more to finish the second chukker having a healthy 4-1 edge.
The only goal of the third chukker was slammed in by Diamond Paints, which further enhanced their lead to 5-1 while the fourth and last chukker though fully dominated by Remounts, who hammered a hat-trick of goals to make it 5-4 yet they couldn’t convert more goals, thus lost the crucial encounter 4-5. The match was officiated by Nicolas Scortichini and Marcelo Garrahan as field umpires.
The second semifinal of the day saw BN Polo thrashing Barry’s by 10 1/2-4 to book berth in the main final against Diamond Paints.
Eulogio Celestino was the star from team BN Polo, who smashed in fantastic five goals while sensational Raja Mikail Sami hammered a hat-trick and Tito Ruiz Guinazu and Babar Naseem converted one each. For team Barry’s, Hamza Mawaz Khan (2 goals) and Santiago Gomes Romero (1 goal) played well.
The first chukker was fully dominated by BN Polo by thrashing in three back-to-back goals to gain 3-0 while Barry’s played better polo in the second chukker by hammering a hat-trick against a brace by BN Polo, who were still enjoying 5-3 lead.
BN Polo added four more goals in their tally to take their lead to 9-3. Barry’s scored one goal in the fourth and last chukker to reduce the margi to 9-4 but BN Polo, who had a half goal handicap advantage, added one more in their tally to win the match by 10 1/2-4. The field umpires were Nicolas Scortichini and Marcelo Garrahan.