BUOYED BY a stunning four goal performance from Alejandro Muzzio, including the winner, UAE edged Ghantoot 10-9 to lift the Silver Cup last Friday. The final was attended by His Highness Sheikh Rashid bin Hamdan Al Maktoum and UAE led by patron HRH Sheikha Maitha bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum turned in a performance that merited the title. It was anything but easy, but the UAE managed to go all the way in the competition unbeaten. The final was played at a furious pace with two equally strong teams and groups of tough runners. Muzzio was a class apart throughout, but he wasn’t the only player to have scored a quartet of goals; that honour was shared by Ghantoot’s Juan Gris Zavaleta.
So close were the teams in terms of quality early on that the first chukker ended 2-2. UAE were the stronger of the two outfits in the second period, as they scored three to Ghantoot’s lone goal to take a 5-3 lead. Ghantoot bounced back stronger in the third chukker scoring the only four goals of the period to take a 7-5 lead moving forward. Both teams scored two apiece in the fourth period, which meant Ghantoot were up 9-7 heading into the final chukker. Sheikha Maitha scored for UAE to cut the lead to 9-8 before Muzzio scored his third goal to level the scores at 9-9. The Argentine then scored his fourth which turned out to be the winning goal as the UAE finished 10-9 for what was a well deserved success.
The UAE had booked its spot in the final after a 9-6 victory over Habtoor, while Ghantoot made their way to the showpiece game following a 15-9 thumping of Desert Palm. The subsidiary Hildon Cup final saw Zedan Polo edge Mahra 9-8.5, with Mahra’s Pelayo Berazadi the top scorer in the game. The Silver Cup is part of the Dubai Polo Gold Cup Series, which is one of only five tournaments worldwide played in the World Polo Tour Championship Cup category.