It was the cruelest of defeats that saw a battling Zedan Polo lose out to defending Gold Cup champions and home side, Habtoor Polo 8-7 in their first clash of the Dubai Silver Cup at Dubai Polo Club this evening (Sunday).
Every time Mohammed Al Habtoor’s side drew ahead, Amr Zedan’s players found an answering goal until the fourth chukker, when Habtoor Polo went two in front, making the score 7-5.
Zedan Polo clawed back a goal for 7-6 and in the dying seconds of the match equalised for 7-7.
That sent both sides into a fifth and final chukker, which Habtoor Polo brought to an abrupt end with a golden goal, dashing Zedan Polo’s hopes of a winning start to their first tournament of the season.
“It is not a good feeling to lose like that,” said Zedan Polo’s Rodolfo Ducos. “We knew going into the match that we were not as well practiced as we would have liked and unfortunately I think the fact that this is our first tournament of the season showed.”
Zedan Polo, who boast the services of the nine-goal handicapper and four-time Argentine Open-wining player, Nachi Heguy, expect to have improved as a team by the time they meet Mahra Polo on Wednesday.
“This is obviously not how we wanted to start off the tournament but it is not a disaster,” said Ducos. “We haven’t really practiced enough together and sometimes you pay the price. But we will come back from this. Every team in this tournament is tough and we will be focusing on fixing our mistakes before we ride out onto the field again.”
Zedan Polo was founded by patron, Amr Zedan just two years ago and the players are the reigning HH President of the UAE Polo Cup Champions.
They play Mahra Polo on Wednesday and will meet Ghantoot Polo on Friday.
The Dubai Gold Cup Series, which comprises both the Silver Cup, which takes place all this week, and the flagship Gold Cup, which takes place next month, is one of the fastest-paced and highly-coveted polo titles in the region.
Ghantoot Polo (11) vs Abu Dhabi Polo (10)
Bin Drai Polo (10) vs Mahra Polo (5)