LAHORE-FG Polo lifted the coveted trophy of the 2nd President of Pakistan Polo Cup 2023 sponsored by Takmeel Square after edging past BN Polo by 9½-9 in the main final here at Jinnah Polo Fields.
Raul Laplacette was the hero of the main final as he did magic with mallet and pony and contributed with six superb goals while Ramiro Zavaleta, Saqib Khan Khakwani and Mian Abbas Mukhtar struck one goal apiece. For BN Polo, Hamza Mawaz Khan fired in four goals while Tito Ruiz Guinazu hammered a hat-trick and Baber Naseem a brace.
Both the teams started the final well and converted one goal each to end the first chukker at 1-1. In the beginning of the second chukker, FG Polo converted a 30-yard penalty to take a 2-1 lead, which couldn’t last long as BN Polo banged in two back-to-back goals to have a slight 3-2 lead. The third chukker was dominated by FG Polo as they cracked a classic quartet against one goal by BN Polo to gain a good 6-4 lead.
The highly-charged fourth chukker saw both the sides giving tough time to each other but BN Polo succeeded in scoring five goals against three by FG Polo to draw the score and match at 9-9. In the end, it was a half goal handicap advantage that made the difference as FG Polo emerged as winners of the prestigious event and received the coveted trophy from President of Pakistan Dr. Arif Alvi. Chris Hyde and John Fisher supervised the match as field umpires.
Earlier, Master Paints defeated Remounts by 9½-7 to win the subsidiary final. Manuel Crispo was star of the day for Master Paints, which had a half goal handicap advantage, as he smashed in superb five goals while Sufi Muhammad Haroon banged in a brace and Agha Musa Ali Khan and Pelagio Balazaldi hit one goal each. For Remounts, Manuel Sundblad fired in five goals while Ahmad Zubair Butt and Jota Chavanne hit one goal each.
President of Pakistan Dr. Arif Alvi grace the final as chief guest and witnessed and enjoyed the enthralling and entertaining final. Jinnah Polo Fields Patron, President, Secretary as well as Takmeel Square CEO Dr. Kamran Fazal, and people from different walks of life were present on the occasion.
At the concluding ceremony, President Dr. Arif Alvi distributed prizes among the winners and top performers. The man of the final award was handed over to Raul Laplacette while Mian Abbas Mukhtar’s pony ‘Funa’ was awarded the best mare of the final trophy. Other highlights of the final were Army band’s impressive performance as well as spectacular display of tent-pegging by Rangers and Aitchison College boys and girls teams.