Chile 9 – New Zealand 2
England 16 – India 1
Australia 10 – Spain 9
Argentina 12 – USA 9 1/2
Results in Detail
New Zealand vs Chile
9 – 2
Champions Chile come to the party
Reigning champions Chile displayed their pedigree with a hard fought 9-2 victory over New Zealand on Sunday afternoon at Sydney Polo Club.
In a physical encounter which saw man marking and horse power bring intensity to the game, however it was the Chileans who could at times find a way through the New Zealand defence to ultimately win. New Zealand, headed by veteran Cody Forsyth, formerly 8 goals, showed all his experience to keep New Zealand in the game.
Chile scored four classy goals from counterattacks over the five chukkas, the first by Jose Zegers in the first chukka after a bold open forehand shot from distance. At times New Zealand hammered at the Chilean line – eight missed shots at goal and seven knock ins for Chile reflecting the pressure – the Kiwis struggled to break the Chilean defence, led by Alejandro Vidal.
Skipper Forsyth later said in the press conference that while the New Zealand players shot into horses, the Chileans found the gaps and were able to counter attack.
With the game swinging Chile’s way in the third chukka, Chile’s Zegers scored a sensational neck shot goal from 80 yards out. That chance came from a throw in – the overall throw-in count, was 15-11 to Chile but at one point was 14-7 – must have dented New Zealand’s resolve as the Chilean’s stretched their lead.
Zegers again pulled the trigger in the fourth chukka to seal the deal as he scored six of the team’s nine goals. It was a class performance from the number two, playing with the maximum handicap of five goals.
Both teams felt that the score line didn’t reflect the game – “we never felt in front except when looking at the scoreboard,” the Chileans graciously claimed after the game, but they appeared to have more firepower up front to seal the deal.
As the commentary team said, the horse power on display has set the bar for future FIP tournaments.
England vs India
16 – 1
England smash India to announce presence in Australia
England announced their presence at the Sydney FIP World Championships on Sunday with a resounding 16-1 over India.
In a fast-paced game that again illustrated the quality of the horses provided by the hosts, England played a classic four-man game that saw India regularly exposed at the back as they failed to pick up the English runners.
Driven by seasoned professionals Peter Webb and Satnam Dilhon, England stole possession from India in the 50/50 plays and passed long quickly to find Henry Porter and Josh Cork, the latter whom had been expected to start at number two, but lined up in the green helmet signifying the number one player.
Winning 16 to 7 throw ins, possession was never a problem, with India scrambling in defence and failing to establish a foothold in the game.
India coach Uday Kalaan said in the post-match press conference that India were slow getting to their men as England dominated the tight plays.
England’s dominance was highlighted by nine missed shots at goal to just three from India.
“A very god start,” Said captain Dilhon. “We just have to be careful that for the next game we don’t get too confident.”.
“I just think we prepared really well. We came early. We played a tournament beforehand. We had a plan. We stuck to the plan and it came off,” added Dilhon.
India, who fielded the youngest player in the tournament in HH Padmanabh Singh, did create chances the game but the talented Siddhant Sharma rarely was given the space to play, as India were outclassed by a team that had played a warm-up tournament and, by the way they are talking, have come to win.
Australia vs Spain
10 – 9
Australia leave it late to beat Spain
he second game of the FIP World Championships at Sydney Polo Club saw hosts Australia beat Spain 10-9 after a golden goal in extra time to kick off their campaign on home soil.
Leading 5-2 after two chukkas, Australia – who used their best horsepower early – appeared to be cruising in front of their home crowd, but Spain, who had created chances but saw shots go wide early on, fought back to tie the game at 5-5 at the break.
The Spanish momentum continued and, leading 9-7 in the final chukka, were spoiling the party.
Australia, led by Jack Archibald, then showed some bottle to tie the game with less than a minute remaining to take the tie into an extra chukka.
The opening-day comeback went to script as the Spanish team infringed with a turning foul in their own 60 yards area and George Hill duly slotted the penalty to take his team into the next game against USA.
Spain will take heart from their performance while Australia will breathe a sigh of relief.
Argentina vs USA
12 – 9 ½
Argentina stamp their authority in Sydney
The first game of the FIP World Championships at Sydney Polo Club saw Argentina overcome Team USA 12-9 ½ over six chukkas on the opening Saturday.
This was a convincing victory for Argentina, who have won the tournament 4 times since the tournament was first played in 1987.
The South Americans won the first two throw-ins of the game and with it two goals. That was the story of the game; Argentina winning the possession and creating chances, with USA working off scraps.
Team USA would count themselves lucky to be only 7 – 4 1/2 down at half time. The 2014 finalists – who narrowly lost to Chile in the 2014 championship – were still in the game, but the pattern of the first half continued in the last three chukkas and Argentina stretched their lead to 12-7 ½ .
USA rallied with two late goals to give them some confidence for their next game.
Argentina look to be the team to beat.
For updates regularly visit: Allsportspk