Bajans lead Brazil in poloBarbados’ Rhys Odle (left) and Brazil’s Laerte Meirelles trying to win possession. (Picture by Lennox Devonish.)
By Randy Bennett | Sun, April 15, 2012 - 12:03 AM
Guess who's doing the samba now?
Barbados’ national polo team took an unassailable 1-0 lead in their three-match series against Brazil when they defeated the visitors seven to six in their enthralling second-match encounter at the Holders Hill polo field on Friday afternoon.
After Wednesday’s first game had ended in an exciting four to four tie, both teams took to the field knowing that victory would give them a handhold on the Sagicor Asset Management Trophy.
The Barbados team – Rhys Odle, Marc Atwell, Pablo Crespin and Alex Cole – was a completely different team to the one which played just days before, but they quickly found themselves on the back foot.
A brilliant piece of work by Fernando Junqueira saw him outfoxing Cole and firing between the posts.
That lead was short-lived, however, as Atwell replied on the Bajans’ very next possession to level the scores.
Another skilled move from Laerte Meirelles on the right side of the field resulted in another goal for the Brazilians as they regained the lead with three minutes remaining in the first chukka.
One minute into the second chukka, Crespin’s fancy back flick once again tied the score at two to two, before Meirelles scored his second goal of the match after some sustained pressure from the guests, to restore their one goal cushion.
A rare mistake by Cole with just seconds remaining before the half allowed Lucia Junqueira to sneak in and double the lead as the Brazilians went into half-time leading four to two.
On resumption Cole would make amends, though, scoring the home side’s third goal before Crespin added another shortly after to leave the game tied at four to four.
Barbados then took their first lead in the game, courtesy another cheeky back flick from Atwell, and then extended their lead to two goals within two minutes (six to four), when Crespin converted a 60-yard penalty.
The Brazilians weren’t done just yet, though, Marcos Junqueira striking a goal with 20 seconds remaining in the penultimate chukka.
Barbados seemed to have the game all wrapped up with just under five minutes to go when Crespin got his beaver trick, and Barbados’ seventh goal, through another penalty strike.
However, Laerte’s superb 60-yard shot from an ensuing penalty gave the visitors hope with less than a minute in the game remaining, and after Atwell missed an opportunity to seal the deal for Barbados, Laerte could only watch as his last-second shot rolled agonizingly wide of the posts to give Barbados the win.
The final game of the series is scheduled for today at Lion Castle, beginning at 4:30 p.m.
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