Saturday served a plate of overkill in Palermo, with slapdown victories for La Dolfina Sancor Seguros and La Aguada Las Monjitas. The zinger was the merciless 18-goal margin by which La Dolfina squashed La Esquina Los Machitos Navarro Correas (24-6).
Later that afternoon, La Aguada LM’s 12-7 win over La Irenita San Germán Seguros came with a bonus: They reached 600 points in the ranking, which qualifies them for Palermo 2018.
The backdrop was a historic day in Palermo. Day 3 of the tournament marked the 25th Argentine Open for Adolfo Cambiaso.
La Dolfina did what was expected in their matchup against La Esquina Los Machitos—and then some. All four 10-goalers took the field as though they were facing another 40-goal team and crushed 29-goal La Esquina 24-6.
Leading the rampage was Juan Martín Nero, who did extra duty as high-scorer of the day (9 goals, 4 of them on the fly) and as a stone wall, mounting what the AAP aptly called an “ironclad defense.” On the attack Nero was a bull seeing red.
That was wicked news for the La Esquina LM defense, who ended up hamstrung from protecting against the onslaught. Consummate players Mariano Aguerre and Rodrigo Ribeiro de Andrade came forward throughout the game but had trouble keeping possession.
La Esquina LM found themselves chasing La Dolfina for two solid hours. They were held to a single goal total in the first three chukkers and scored only three combined in the fourth, fifth and sixth chukkers. Trailing by seven goals at halftime, things only got worse for them, although they played on stoically. It was clear that they purged any psychological disadvantage from their minds and played the entire game to the max, even as the situation turned hopeless. The gap widened with an 11-goal spread in the fifth (15-4), 13 in the sixth (17-4), 14 in the seventh (19-5), and ended with 18 (24-6).
Despite coming off a three-week gap in games, the ensemble cast from Cañuelas and their string were battle-ready. An unstoppable Adolfo Cambiaso made six goals. Pelón Stirling came through with five and Pablo MacDonough managed the war effort and had the last word in the eighth chukker with two of his four goals.
-Solid scoring by La Dolfina: Nero (9), Cambiaso (6), Stirling (5), MacDonough (4)
-La Dolfina outshot La Esquina 28-7
-La Dolfina went a perfect 7/7 on penalties
-La Esquina held scoreless in 4 of 8 chukkas
You’d never have guessed it from the first three chukkers, which ended with only three goals total, but the second game of the day brought some eye-catching play. La Aguada LM pulled out ahead in the fourth with three goals and kept a Velcro lead for the rest of the game. Miguel Novillo Astrada, who carried the day, was absolutely everywhere and put in his strongest performance of the year (including the U.S. season). Novillo Astrada was defensively strong as always, plus superb at coming forward and finishing his shots at goal. Teammate Alfredo Bigatti also played stunningly and was key in the last few chukkers in scoring the key goals to keep La Aguada LM’s lead.
La Irenita was unable to generate good scoring chances in the first half and trailed 6-2 at halftime. They adjusted a bit in the second half, with Juan Ruiz Guiñazú and Juan Martín Zavalata contributing offensively. But the team defense of La Aguada LM was insurmountable. Ignacio Novillo Astrada was strong defensively in the back throughout the game. With La Irenita struggling to create chances, La Aguada LM was able to cause turnovers. They transformed them into an offense of their own, which allowed them to create more scoring chances and take home a 12-7 victory.
-Miguel Novillo Astrada and Alfredo Bigatti combined for 9 goals on 9/12 shooting
-La Irenita shot 0/4 in first half
-La Aguada went on stretch of 10/12 shooting from 2nd to 6th chukker
-Equal number of throw-in wins (12) and close in fouls (11 La Aguada LM, 9 La Irenita).
NEXT GAMES: The Argentine Open continues Sunday with two games: Ellerstina Johor v. Chapaleufú Cardón (2 p.m.) and Alegría Land Rover v. Cría Yatay Colony (4:30 p.m.).
Photos by Katerina Morgan