In the first semi-final of the 124th Argentine Open, La Dolfina plays La Aguada Las Monjitas on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. local time. Here’s a look at what the stats say about them based on their team and player performances to date in the tournament.
La Dolfina doesn’t have the highest-ranked efficiency in terms of shooting percentage or penalty percentage, but they are wildly effective at controlling possession in open play. Leading the tournament with 18.3 throw-in wins per game, La Dolfina has used those extra possessions to shoot at goal 10 more times per game than the next closest team, Ellerstina.
La Dolfina’s dominance in open play is further strengthened by their skill at avoiding fouling, averaging just 3 fouls per game, significantly lower than any other team. With all four players scoring at least 10 goals so far in the tournament, La Dolfina has the ability to attack in multiple ways, making it difficult for La Aguada LM to anticipate what’s coming in the next play.
Adolfo Cambiaso is producing at an impressive rate from the field for La Dolfina, leading all players with 6.3 field goals per game, 1.6 field goals per game higher than the next closest player. Cambiaso andJuan Martín Nero lead La Dolfina’s potent offense that has averaged 22.3 goals per game far, while allowing just 5.3 goals per game for an impressive 17-goal difference.
Juan Martín Nero is known for his proficient defense in the #4 position and has been crucial in La Dolfina only allowing 5.3 goals per game. Nero has also produced offensively, with nearly half of his 6.3 goals per game coming from the penalty line.
Pablo MacDonough is second in field goals per game at 4.7 on 61% shooting. He has been effective in the middle of the field and finding the right time to break way for runs. MacDonough is second in shot attempts behind Cambiaso, so he generates a lot of scoring opportunities.
David Stirling has scored 10 goals total but has had a bigger impact defensively, allowing Cambiaso and Nero to attack while he defends. Stirling is tied for eighth in shot attempts and leads the tournament with 22 throw-in wins.
While La Aguada Las Monjitas has produced the third-most shots per game, their shooting percentage places them in the bottom half of the tournament, a key stat they will need to improve upon if they want to reach the final. The other key factor for La Aguada LM in Saturday’s match-up will be throw-ins, as they are tied for the lowest number of throw-in wins per game with 13. They face a team ranked first in throw-in wins.
Maintaining possession and slowing the La Dolfina attack is crucial for La Aguada and the back line of Ignacio and Miguel Novillo Astrada. As a team La Aguada will need to be strong defensively and pass accurately to begin their attack and avoid the quick counter-attack from La Dolfina that has overwhelmed their opponents.
La Aguada has the task of upsetting La Dolfina and displays a balanced team in similar fashion. All four players are within two goals of each other in total scoring, with Alejandro Novillo Astrada leading the way (10 goals), followed by Ignacio Novillo Astrada and Alfredo Bigatti (9 each) and Miguel Novillo Astrada (8).
Shooting an effective 60%, Alejandro Novillo Astrada has pushed La Aguada forward, while seamlessly rotating to a back position when his teammates attack. The primary penalty taker for La Aguada, Alejandro has converted 4 of his 6 attempts and will need to convert at a high rate when provided with opportunities Saturday.
The rotation of the La Aguada team has led to more involvement from Ignacio Novillo Astrada on the offensive side of the field. Shooting at goal 5.0 times per game, Ignacio only trails Bigatti on the team in shots and has found space on the field, coming forward from the #4 position to average 3.0 goals per game. Leading his team in throw-in wins, Ignacio is effective at initiating the La Aguada attack but will be tasked with slowing the La Dolfina assault.
Alfredo Bigatti has been very effective creating scoring chances for La Aguada LM, as he is tied for third among all players with 20 shots. However, he is near the bottom in shot percentage at 45%. He mainly finds himself in the middle of the field but has been able to get in behind defenses to receive passes from the trio of Novillo Astradas.
Miguel Novillo Astrada has been exceptional defensively. He is superb at covering, allowing Ignacio the freedom to push forward. Miguel had a strong game against La Irenita, scoring 5 goals on 6 shots. He is tied for seventh in shot percentage, so he takes advantage of the few chances he gets offensively.
Photos by Katerina Morgan