The first game of the 2019 Ylvisaker Cup on Sunday, Jan. 20 saw La Indiana (Michael Bickford, Toly Ulloa, Facundo Obregon and Jeff Hall) hold on for a 10-9 victory against Coca-Cola (Gillian Johnston, Sugar Erskine, Julian de Lusaretta and Wesley Finlayson) at the International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington. With both teams making their debut in the 2019 season, it was La Indiana that took advantage of a Coca-Cola team that committed 14 fouls along with three yellow cards.
Led by a seven-goal performance from Obregon, La Indiana was able to consistently pressure the Coca-Cola defense, thanks to the active effort of Ulloa in the middle of the game. Despite outshooting La Indiana 17-9, Coca-Cola settled for difficult shots from distance, resulting in a 35 percent shooting performance. In a game that came down to the final minutes, the one-goal advantage for La Indiana on handicap proved to be the difference in the 10-9 victory.
In the opening chukker, both teams traded a penalty goal, with no other offense created thanks to a back-and-forth game that saw the ball constantly change possession. Back-to-back goals from Obregon to begin the second chukker gave La Indiana a 4-1 lead. Coca-Cola quickly responded with a penalty 1 goal in favor of de Lusarreta to bring his team back within one goal.
Coca-Cola continued to produce more offensive chances than La Indiana in the half, but foul trouble prevented them from taking the lead, as La Indiana received four penalties in the third chukker. Obregon scored his fifth goal of the half to give La Indiana the 6-5 lead at halftime.
Coca-Cola continued to shoot heavily at the La Indiana goal but shot just one for five in the fourth chukker, with Finlayson the only player to find the goal. Coca-Cola’s frustration began to show with a yellow card as Hall pushed La Indiana back into the lead with two goals. The missed attempts from Coca-Cola, along with the penalty shooting for La Indiana, led to the game’s outcome, with Obregon adding two more goals in the fifth chukker, including his fourth penalty conversion.
Trailing by three goals, Coca-Cola made a late push with Erksine and de Lusarreta scoring a goal each to raise the excitement of the crowd and bring Coca-Cola within one goal. The attempt at a comeback was put in jeopardy after a two yellow cards for de Lusarreta sent him off, leaving Coca-Cola with just three players. Down a player, Coca-Cola was unable to score again, as La Indiana held on for the 10-9 victory.
Earlier in the day, Patagones (Joaquin Avendano, Benjamin Avendano, Tomas Garcia del Rio and Santiago Toccalino) defeated Iconica (Maureen Brennan, Peke Gonzalez, Sebastian Merlos and Dylan Rossiter) 7-4 in a defensive battle that saw just three combined goals in the second half.
Patagones raced out to an early lead thanks to the passing combination of Garcia del Rio to Benjamin Avendano. Scoring four goals in the opening half, Benjamin Avendano made his impact felt on the game. Holding a 6-2 lead at halftime, the defensive performance of Patagones was a factor, with Iconica’s only two goals coming from field goals off the mallets of Gonzalez and Rossiter. Holding a three-goal lead, Patagones kept Iconica off the scoresheet in the final chukker to claim the 7-4 victory.