The King Power Gold Cup held at Cowdray Park Polo club came to a close after a thrilling final between Dubai and VS King Power on Sunday 21st July.
The final, which took place on Lawns field two, featured three players under the age of 21: a groundbreaking first at the Gold Cup final.
The King Power Gold Cup Final Teams:
Dubai (21): Camilo ‘Jeta’ Castagnola (6), Rashid Albwardy (1), Bartolito Castagnola (6) & Nachi du Plessis (8)
King Power (22): Top Srivaddhanaprabha (0), Polito Pieres (9), Marcos Di Paola (7) & Juan Martín Zubía (6)
Dubai lined up with the talented Castagnola brothers, Barto who is 18 years old and his younger brother Jeta who is 16, Nachi du Plessis and patron Rasid Albwardy. VS King Power were led by patron Top Srivaddhanaprabha, Marcos di Poala, Juan Martin Zubia and Polito Pieres.
The game was fast paced from the roll in, however, both teams missed early chances to take the lead. As the nerves settled, both team’s goals started to come thick and fast. Dubai found themselves 6-4 up at half time after a quick brace of goals from Barto Castagnola. 15,000 spectators then took to the field to repair the ground meanwhile both teams were deep in discussion with their coaches.
Once play resumed in the second half, it was VS King Power who charged forward with Top scoring two quick goals. They were back in the game and continued to push taking the score to 11-7. It seemed like a huge task for Dubai to get back into this game, as VS King Power looked dominant. Dubai, however, regrouped and got a few goals back, taking the scores to 12-11 in favour of King Power. Dubai increased the pressure on the King Power goal searching for the equaliser, then the moment came, Jeta Castagnola scored to level things up with almost the last play of the game. As the teams came back to the middle the hooter went and we were going into extra time.
It was Juan Martin Zubia who pounced first, galloping down the ground it looked as though they could win it, agonisingly however he pushed the ball wide. It was then the turn of Dubai to come forward, 16-year-old Jeta picked up the ball once again weaving his way through the King Power traffic to hit a neck shot through the goal. The Dubai camp erupted with celebrations as they made history winning the Gold Cup with a final score of 13-12. One most gripping, action packed and arguably the greatest finals of the Gold Cup in recent years.
MVP went to Polito Pieres on his birthday, a consolation prize for coming so close to winning.
BPP went to Dubai and Jeta Castagnolas “Rebalde”