Sao Polo wins Open Cup as Alchemy takes Silver Cup
Leighton Sao Polo on Sunday defeated Shoreline 9 to 8 to win the Open Cup at the on-going GTBank Lagos International Polo Tournament holding at the Polo Club, Ikoyi.
The final, which had in attendance the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai among other dignitaries, marked the end of the opening week of the prestigious 2020 Lagos polo fiesta.
The much-anticipated final week, pitching a record 20 teams, will gallop off today with the Low Cup and prestigious Majekodunmi Cup titles up for grabs.
There will also be two subsidiary cups, the Italian Ambassador’s Cup and the Independence Cup to be contested for.
Both sides for the Open Cup final came in with +12 handicap, but the Leighton Sao Polo team, formed by Bowale Jolaosho, Seyi Oyinlola, Martin Juaregui and Manuel Crespo, took to a flying start with Argentine seven-year goaler Crespo netting twice before Ashraf Yahaya halved the deficit in the bumber-to-bumper five chukka match.
Another Argentine, Pipi Greguoli +4 levelled the match with a sensational goal, which brought the crowd to their feet, but Crespo would not be outshined as he registered another goal.
Shoreline was completed by Adebayo Karim and Julio Santiago Estrada and they kept the pressure on their opponents all through, but they eventually fell short, losing 9-8.
In the preceding match, Khalifa Adams inspired Lagos Golden Alchemy to a 6-0 victory over Ibadan Eleyele to win the Silver Cup.
Alchemy, which also had Bilal Dantata, Sadiq Dantata and Haliru Suleiman, took over the driver’s seat right from the start of the first chukka, with Adams driving in a low shot. Suleiman also got his name on the score sheet before Adams got his second for a comfortable 3-0 second chukka lead.
Eleyele, which had the quartet of Jide Balogun, Bola Adeyemi, Abdulmalik Bariki and Salisu Umar, put on a great fight but they were puzzled by the all-round aggressiveness of the Lagos team, who went on to score three more goals in the third chukka for a resounding victory.
The Special Guest of Honour for the opening week of the grand fiesta, Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen Tukur Buratai led other dignitaries to give out prizes to the winners and runners-up at a colourful closing ceremony in Ikoyi, Lagos.
Lagos Leighton Saopolo had on Saturday became the first team to win a major prize in the ongoing tournament, defeating STL 9-8 in a tense final decided before a full house at the foremost Ribadu Road polo ground in Ikoyi.