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31 March 2013
Ghantoot Must Defeat Bin Drai To Secure President Cup Final Place
Defending Champions, Zedan Already Assured Of Final Spot
Abu Dhabi 1st of April 2013: Zedan Polo put together an 8-7 victory over Abu Dhabi Polo on Sunday evening to secure a spot in the final of the HH President of the UAE Polo Cup, a tournament the Saudi Arabian-led side won last year.
Meanwhile, hosts Ghantoot executed a surgical 10-5 victory over Habtoor Polo, and have set themselves up for a decisive clash against Bin Drai on Tuesday. The winner of that game will secure a place in the April 5 final of the tournament, the most prestigious on the Ghantoot Racing & Polo Club calendar.
Ali Al Marri, Ghantoot’s Emirati star said: “We won by a significant margin today, but we know that the hard work is still to come. This is our home tournament and the most important event on our competition calendar and we want to be in the final on April 5, but we also know that Bin Drai want exactly the same thing. So we will be concentrating on what we need to do to get there when the match starts on Tuesday and nothing else.”
Ghantoot scored three goals in each of the two opening chukkers and never looked like getting caught by Habtoor.
In contrast, Zedan, the ultimate winners of the earlier match of the night had suffered a few worrying moments in the first half of the clash with Abu Dhabi.
The defending champions, who had previously lost to Abu Dhabi at an earlier stage of this event and were also ejected from the 2013 Dubai Silver Cup at the hands of the same team, were able to reverse their previous form, claiming a narrow victory by just one goal.
And initially it looked like Zedan Polo would fall victim to their bogey team once again, with Abu Dhabi scoring three in the first chukker, courtesy of Faris Al Yabhouni, Juan Ambroggio and Manuel Elizalde to Zedan’s one, which came from Nachi Heguy.
But Zedan kept themselves in the match in a crucial second chukker with Heguy and Mariano Urango both scoring while Elizalde getting two between the posts for Abu Dhabi.
Both sides scored twice in the third, with Juan Jose Storni and Ambroggio getting one apiece for Abu Dhabi and Uranga and Billy Healy doing the honours for Zedan.
The sides went into the fourth with Abu Dhabi the 7-5 leaders, but it was here that Zedan’s fortunes changed. While Heguy got two more to bring his total to four for the day and Healy scored once more, Abu Dhabi were unable to find an answer and finished up the 8-7 losers.
“It was a close match and we trailed them for most of the game, so to turn the tables in the fourth chukker was very important,” said Amr Zedan, the patron of Zedan Polo. “We won this tournament last year, so to get into the final again was very important for us and we are just happy to be where we want to be on April 5.
“Now we will go away and concentrate on what it is we need to do in order to win a second consecutive HH President of the UAE Polo Cup. We don’t know who we will face yet, but it shouldn’t matter. Every team in this tournament is tough and we plan to play our own polo and not be led by what the opposition do in the field.”