South African Skill and Team Combination a Real Threat in the FIP World Cup Zone D Finals
South Africa had a convincing win over Pakistan today, making it the second loss for the Pakistani team at the Federation of International Polo (FIP) World Cup Zone D tournament being played in Clevedon, South Auckland. The loss makes it very difficult for the Pakistani team to qualify in the top two to compete in the Wold final in Mexico later in the year Ã¢â‚¬â€œ they will have to win both their next matches convincingly to be in with a chance.
South Africa won 10 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 7 and were always in control of the match, playing a fast and long hitting game, dominated by their star player, 19 year old Nachi du Plessis, who scored half of the teams goals (5). Not to be outdone by his older brother, 16 year old David Jean Du Plessis, added another 3 goals and Captain Gareth Evans scored a further 2 points.
Pakistan were down 3 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 6 at half time, with their scorers being Raja Samiullah, 4 goals and Hissam Ali Hyder scoring 3 goals.
Pakistan narrowly lost to Australia yesterday by missing a last minute penalty opportunity. South Africa had the advantage of fresher horses, with today being their first day of play. However, their slick team combination in todayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s match sends a warning to the other competing teams including; Australia, India and New Zealand, that they are not to be underestimated.
DAY TWO RESULTS
South Africa 10 Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Pakistan 7
South Africa: Nachi du Plessis Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 5, David Jean du Plessis Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 3, Gareth Evans Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 2
Pakistan: Raja Samiullah Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 4, Hissam Ali Hyder Ã¢â‚¬â€œ 3
/ Played / Won / Draw / Loss / Points
New Zealand / 1 / 1 / / / 2
Australia / 1 / 1 / / / 2
South Africa / 1 / 1 / / / 2
India / 1 / / / 0 / 0
Pakistan / 2 / / / 0 / 0
Tomorrow sees India play Australia at 2.30pm on Smiths Lawn, Ryburn Park, Clevedon.
The 50 world-class players representing Australia, South Africa, Pakistan, India and New Zealand are competing to win a place in the FIP World Cup final to be played in Mexico in September 2007. The players arrived in Auckland last week, and spent the weekend choosing from more than 150 ponies, all provided by host nation New Zealand. The Zone D play-offs continue in Clevedon every afternoon this week (except Friday) with the final day play on Sunday 4th March. Admission is free weekdays, and everyone is welcome to come along and get behind one of the teams.
For further information visit www.fippolonz.com
NOTES TO EDITORS:
Remaining Matches - all games 5 chukkas
India v Australia Wednesday 28 February 2.30 pm Smiths Lawn, Ryburn Park
India v Pakistan Thursday 1 March 2.30 pm Smiths Lawn, Ryburn Park
New Zealand v South Africa 4.00 pm Smiths Lawn, Ryburn Park
Day off or overrun for bad weather Friday 2 March
Australia v South Africa Saturday 3 March 2.00 pm Fisher Field
New Zealand v Pakistan 3.30 pm Fisher Field
South Africa v India Sunday 4 March 1.30 pm Fisher Field
New Zealand v Australia 3.30 pm Fisher Field