Sunday was a Pieres cakewalk in Palermo as Ellerstina smashed Chapaleufú 21-7 in their opening game in the 2017 Argentine Open. All four members of the Pieres family scored and played some of their finest polo all season. They are clearly hungry (and looking good) for the tournament win that has eluded them since their 2012 title.
The standout for Ellerstina was a ferocious Polito Pieres, who once again had a 10-goal game. Facundo Pieres was back in the irons, looking none the worse for wear after his injury in the Hurlingham Open final. He seemed to hold back a bit early in the game, but then he rolled right into his groove and made four goals on the day. Gonzalito played probably his best game so far as #2, coming through with six goals, and Nico contributed a slick goal from the field.
Chapaleufú got the first goal of the day courtesy of Julián de Lusarreta, who delivered on a long run under mounting pressure. That turned out to be Chapaleufú’s only lead all day. From there on it was total world domination by Ellerstina, who stretched their lead incrementally each chukker: 2-1, 6-2, 9-3, 13-4, 16-4, 17-5, 18-5 and 21-7. It was clear even before halftime that this was going to be a runaway game for Ellerstina.
It had to be excruciating for Chapaleufú, historically a great power, to go down that way. This year their Alberto and Eduardo Heguy are celebrating their thirty-first Argentine Open, which is the tournament record.
Chapaleufú's downfall was their inability to stop Ellerstina from getting in behind them. Polito and Gonzalito would duck in behind the defense and receive a pass for a breakaway to goal. Chapaleufú may have been pushing ahead to try to create their own offense, but not recognizing the player behind them caused issues the entire game. Any Chapaleufú offensive attack was quickly turned into a scoring opportunity for Ellerstina, as they absolutely owned the game, particularly in the middle, and took the day by a 14-goal spread.
- Polito 10 goals, Gonzalito 6, Facundo 4, Nico 1
- Ellerstina shoots 17/28, Chapaleufú 5/8
- Ellerstina goes on stretch, scoring 14 of 17 goals from 2nd to 5th chukker
- Both teams 66.6% penalty conversion rate
- Fouls: Ellerstina 8, Chapaleufú 9
NEXT GAMES: This is going to be a killer week in Palermo, with six more games. The tournament resumes Tuesday with two games: La Aguada Las Monjitas vs. La Esquina Los Machitos (2 p.m.), and La Dolfina Polo Ranch vs. La Albertina Abu Dhabi (4:30 p.m.).
LIVE STREAM: ESPN is live streaming all games in the 2017 Argentine Open. The stream is only available online in certain geographical areas. Viewers in the United States, can watch on an iPhone or iPad. More information: http://espni.go.com/player/video/ESPNPlayPolo/index.htm.
Photos by Katerina Morgan