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Friday, May 24, 2024

The Royal Jet Cup end on a high note

by Anthony Gebrayel

In blue- Bin drai, in brown- Rashid Al Habtoor

A sudden penalty by Nacho Gonzalez seals a win for Mahra Polo in the final of the Royal Jet Cup tournament


Although it was a thrilling match from start to finish, the most exciting playmanship was seen at the end of the final of the Royal Jet Polo Cup, which featured Mahra Polo and the Dubai Falcons.
With both teams tying 8-8 at the end of the regulation four chukkers, played at the Dubai Polo and Equestrian Club, on February 25, 2011, it was a penalty by Nacho Gonzalez that sealed the 9-8 win for Mahra Polo.
The match maintained an even pace at first, with the two teams taking the lead on different occasions. However when Gonzalez scored two goals for Mahra Polo, the score was 2-1 against the Dubai Falcons, led by Khalid Bin Drai, by the end of the first seven-minute period of play. But the grit and determination of the Dubai Falcons showed through as they came back on level terms 2-2 with outstanding playing by Salvador Ulloa. However Mahra Polo were in no mood to relent as they once again went clear only to see the Falcons tie things up 3-3 by the end of the second chukker. It was in the penultimate chukker in which Mahra Polo made their most impressive move however. Gaining a twogoal advantage through Mario Gomez, Bin Drai, the Dubai Falcons captain scored two goals to make the score 5-5.
The Dubai Falcons team then eased to a twogoal cushion, going into the final chukker. The two sides exchanged goals, with Mario Gomez scoring for Mahra Polo and Nico Petrachi for the Falcons.
Mahra Polo pulled back 8-7 however, setting up a frantic last 90 seconds that saw the team equalize with only 30 seconds remaining and push the match into extra time. Towards the end of what was atruly exceptional game, either team could easily have stolen the trophy. But it was then that Nacho Gonzalez stepped up to the mark and converted the 30-yard penalty which allowed Mahra Polo to win their first silverware prize of the season.
Earlier in the tournament, Mohammad Al Habtoor’s Habtoor Polo achieved a 6-5 win against Abu Dhabi to take third place in the eight-team competition. 

Subsidiary Final -3rd Place Habtoor Polo beat Abu Dhabi 6-5.

Main final - Winner Mahra Polo beat Dubai Falcons 9-8.


Player of the Tournament: Nacho Gonzalez

Top Goal-Scoring Patron: Khalid Bin Drai


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