Lahore: Master Paints/Newage defeated Ittehad Textiles by a narrow margin of 6-5 to win the historical Hamdan Holdings Aibak Polo Cup 2017 final at the Lahore Polo Club ground.
The 7-goaler Juan Cruz Losada was at his best, who played like a superhero and guided his team to tremendous triumph through his fantastic four goals while the remaining two came from top Pakistani player Hissam Ali Hyder. From the losing side, Mumtaz Abbas Niazi also displayed quality polo and turned the tables of the match in the third chukker, but Master Paints recovered through Losada in the fourth chukker and recorded a title victory. Mumtaz Abbas slammed a brilliant brace while Guy Gibrat hammered a hat-trick which could not contribute towards winning the final.
The clash of titans started with a fine field goal by Guy Gibrat which Ittehad 1-0 lead but Losada came back strongly and drew the blood at 1-1 before the end of the first chukker. The second chukker was completely dominated by Master Paints/Newage, who struck tremendous three goals – two by Losada and one by Hissam Hyder – to take a healthy 4-1 lead which remained intact till the end of the second chukker.
The third chukker of the match made the one-sided affair a thrilling encounter as Guy Gibrat thwarted a brace and Mumtaz Niazi banged in one to level the score at 4-4. The fourth chukker was open for both the teams and both kept on attacking each other goals and first Master Paints succeeded in converting a 60-yarder through Hissam to have a 5-4 lead, which was once again leveled at 5-5 by Mumtaz Abbas. At that crucial time, both the teams were struggling for the match-winning strike and in the last minute of the match, Losada came from behind taping the ball single-handedly and put the ball into goalpost to win the thriller.
The subsidiary final proved to be a nail-biting encounter as it was anyone’s match but Barry’s stamped their authority in the dying moments of the match, winning the match by narrow 5-4 margin against Master Paints (Black).
From the winning side, George Meyrick played a heroic role and contributed a brace in his team’s triumph while Hamza Mawaz Khan and Raja Samiullah added one goal apiece. From Master Paints, Marcelo Pascual, Sufi M Haris and Ahmed Ali Tiwana all converted one goal each but they failed to score victory.