King Power Foxes edge Zacara in OT

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BRITISH TRIPLE CROWN: JAEGER-LECOULTRE GOLD CUP FOR THE BRITISH OPEN (2016) – DAY 7
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King Power Foxes vs. Zacara, during day seven of the 2016 Jaeger LeCoultre Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship, Tuesday, June 28th, at Cowdray Park Polo Club

King Power Foxes vs. Zacara, during day seven of the 2016 Jaeger LeCoultre Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship, Tuesday, June 28th, at Cowdray Park Polo Club / Photo by Tony Ramirez/Images of Polo / imagesofpolo.com


 

King Power Foxes – 9 (OT)

Tal Srivaddhanaprabha (0), Hugo Lewis (2),
Gonzalito Pieres (10), Facundo Pieres (10)

Zacara – 8

Tom Brodie (3), Lyndon Lea (1),
Lucas Monteverde (8), Pablo Macdonough (10)


The Pieres brothers did what they can always be counted on to do: Shift a game to their favour and keep on slugging until there’s not a breath left in either one of them. True to form, 10-goal siblings Facundo and Gonzalito Pieres led defending champions King Power Foxes to a last-gasp 9-8 win over Zacara in extra time Tuesday on Day 7 of the 2016 British Open.

Facundo Pieres did the “sleeping giant” act he does so well, lulling his opponents into a false sense of security in the early part of the game and then coming in for the kill when they were least expecting it. Zacara had little difficulty establishing a three-goal lead by the top of the third chukka, keeping King Power guessing as to their next move. There seemed to be no Zacara strategy, and if there was it was not discernable. Pablo MacDonough put in a command performance, drifting unpredictably about the field, apparently deciding on a whim whether to pluck the ball off the lawn or pass by. Beneath that facade, however, the 10-goaler was every bit as calculated as his nemesis.

Facundo Pieres figured that out pronto. He brought out the heavy artillery, the champion mare Open Galáctica (his personal favorite), who he saves for just such occasions. King Power—fueled by high-octane Pieres power—exploded with three goals in quick succession to tie the game at 5 at the close of the first half. Facundo Pieres knocked in his share, at one point snatching the ball out of the lineup and going on cruise control for a slick neck shot into goal. He was so confident and cool-headed that if you didn’t know better, you’d have thought he was on the practice field playing stick-and-ball.

MacDonough resurfaced in attack mode, bringing Zacara to a brief one-point lead, but Gonzalito Pieres tied it back up on a penalty shot at the end of the fourth. From that point on it was a never-ending game of Ping-Pong, with the score bouncing back and forth between a tie and a one-point gap. King Power deadlocked the game at 8-all at the end of the sixth. Facundo Pieres had the last word in extra time, his eyes glued smack in the middle of the goalposts as he fired a long-range missile into goal for the win. –Darlene Ricker

 


The Gold Cup for the British Open Polo Championship was established in 1956, when it was then known as the Cowdray Park Gold Cup. The trophy itself was stolen in 1968, and has not been recovered. Stowell Park and Tramontana share the record for most wins, with five titles apiece.
 


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Sports, Polo, United Kingdom, High-Goal