SWITZERLAND: As guests gathered in the cradle of snow polo for the second day of high goal action in the Snow Polo World Cup St. Moritz 2018, crisp and clear weather made for excellent conditions as the thousands-strong crowd prepared themselves for the most important snow polo tournament in the world. Basking in the sun, two thrilling matches of high goal world-class thrilling action, the spectators were in for a treat.
Match 1: Cartier vs Maserati
It was the turn of 2017 champions Cartier to take on their rival Maserati in the first match of the day. Both teams had left the arena winners yesterday, so it was all to play for. Cartier, with their usual vitality, were the first on the ball, racing up-field with only one thing in mind – The Maserati Cup. From the word go, 2017 champions Cartier were the stronger team. Dario Musso raced up and down the field, dribbling the ball just out of Maserati’s reach. But, despite an epic goal that culminated in Juan Cruz Greguoli colliding with the goal post, as the play headed towards half-time, Robert Strom and Gerardo Mazzini fired two consecutive goals out of nowhere, straight through the posts. Cartier had to fire all canons to catch up as the scores read 2-1½ at the beginning of the third chukka. And, this is exactly what they did. Open play and expert defence, combined with a third and final goal from the ‘Red Devils’, sealed the deal for Cartier and with it, a spot in tomorrow’s Final, The Cartier Cup. Cartier’s number three, Chris Hyde said after the match, “It’s great to play with Dario again and the team is gelling really well. It’s a great team spirit. We are really looking forward to tomorrow’s Final.”
Match 2: Azerbaijan Land of Fire vs Badrutt’s Palace
As the sun continued to shine on the Engadin Valley, the newbies in this year’s competition, Azerbaijan Land of Fire, took to the arena against Melissa Ganzi’s Badrutt’s Palace, playing for the Deutsche Bank Wealth Management Challenge. In a team line-up change, the Azeri’s welcomed Tarlan Gurbanaliyev into the number one position providing an even stronger team for Badrutt’s Palace to shake off. From the very beginning, the expert duo of cousins Adrian and Andrés ‘Lala’ Laplacette took control of the match. As the ball was thrown-in for the start of the first chukka, Lala scored two goals in as many minutes, creating the gap needed to slightly take the pressure off his teammates. By half-time, Badrutt’s Palace had made it onto the scoreboard with an excellent goal from Alejandro Novillo Astrada, but with a winning penalty from Elchin Jamalli at half-time, the scores sat at 3-1. The third chukka was the decider for Azerbaijan Land of Fire, as the boys in white put another four goals on the scoreboard and with only three goals in reply from Badrutt’s Palace, going into the fourth chukka, it looked like it was all over. To cement his team’ssuccess, Elchin Jamalli signed on the dotted line for Azerbaijan Land of Fire with not one, but two goals to win the match 9-4.
On Sunday 28 January, the La Martina Cup for the third place position, will be played for between Azerbaijan Land of Fire and Badrutt’s Palace at 12pm. The big event of course, will be the hotly awaited Cartier Trophy to decide this year’s ultimate winners which will take place at 2.15pm. With all to play for, the question on everyone’s lips is will Rommy Gianni’s Cartier once again dominate the podium or will their long-term opponents Maserati take home the magnificent Cartier Trophy?
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