The much-awaited 2019 GTBank Lagos Polo International Tournament galloped off in an exhilarating fashion on Wednesday, with Lagos Machines and Kaduna Tila Farms commencing their Silver Cup adventures on winning notes.
The Machines defeated Kano Nakudu 8-4 while Tila Farms stroll passed low flying Lagos. Two more games were decided on the opening day, but the game that kept the legendary Ribadu Road polo ground on fire was the titanic Open Cup clash between Lagos Carveton Saopolo and debutants from Abuja, Team Almat.
The Machines and Nakudu match commenced the two-phase of what promises to be a bumper-to-bumper galloping expedition at Nigeria’s commercial capital and the former lived up to their high rating as they took the game to their opponent from the opening bell.
However, it was Nakudu who had their nose in front with Idris Ahmed scoring the first goal of the tournament with a low shot to make up for his incredible open-goal miss about a minute earlier.
Olumide Agboola responded for the Machines almost immediately but Useni Mohammed restored Nakudu’s lead. There were still more time left for Abdulmumuni Musa to tie the game for the Lagos side before Glory Mbano’s aggressiveness was rewarded with a goal just before the closing bell to get the home side in front for the very first time as the keenly-contested chukka ended 3-2.
The second chukka unarguably belongs to the Machines with Agboola, Yinka Alakija, Mbano and Musa (all the team members) scoring in succession to take full charge of the match for a 7-2 lead. The tie eventually ended with Agboola getting one more goal while Mohammed scored twice which proved a mere consolation for the Kano team.
In the day’s second match, Aliyu Tijani scored twice while Hassan Ramadan also hit target in the first chukka as Tila Farms took total control of their match against Lagos Lameana formed by Kareem Mdeihli, Mohammed Mdeihli, Hadi Mutallab and Abdalah Hassan.
The second chukka was identical to the first with the guest team, which was completed by Altaf Abubakar, and Ahmed Sodangi dominated, but poor finishing prevented them from stretching their advantage as Ramadan widened the lead to 4-0 as the one-sided match ended 6-0
Four Silver Cup matches are slated for Thursday, which will see Lagos NRT battle Kano Nicholas Farms just as Rayan will face Kano Ibah. Lameana would attempt to bounce back when they meet Aragon while Port Harcourt Koko Farms clash with Lagos Machines.