LAHORE - Master Paints/Habib Metro, Dollar East/Master Paints and Diamond Paints emerged as triumphant in the Bank Alfalah National Open Polo Championship 2016 for Quaid-e-Azam Gold Cup here at the Lahore Polo Club (LPC) ground here on Friday.

In the first match of the day, Hissam Ali Hyder helped Master Paints/Habib Metro thump Sabiha Anees 9-6. Hissam hammered four goals while Pedro Gutierrez thrashed three and Mumtaz Abbas Niazi and Sufi Amir contributed one each. For the losing side, Pedro Zacharias deveopled a quartet while Shah Qubilai Alam and Nafees Barry hit one goal apiece.

Both the teams started the match well and kept on attacking each other’s goals. Pedro Zacharias hit the first goal off 30-yard penalty hit while Hissam thwarted a field goal to finish the first chukker at 1-1 draw. Pedro Zacharias continued his great form in the second chukker by slamming a field goal to give Sabiha Anees 2-1 lead which was soon leveled by Hissam through a field while Shah Qubilai further strengthened his team’s position scoring a field goal to finish the chukker at 3-2.

Master Paints/Habib Metro bounced back in the third chukker as they hammered two back-to-back goals – one each by Hissam and Pedro Guiterrez to get a 4-3 lead, which couldn’t stay long as Nafees Barry of Sabiha Anees smashed one to draw the blood at 4-4 before the end of the chukker.

Pedro Zacharias thrashed a field goal to provide Sabiha Anees 5-4 lead but then Master Paints/Habib Metro players played superbly and hit twice to give their team 6-5 lead. Mumtaz Abbas Niazi and Pedro Guiterrez were the goal scorers.

The fifth and last chukker proved very fortunate for Master Paints/Habib Metro as they produced a tremendous hat-trick to take unbeatable  9-5 lead. Hissam, Pedro Guiterrez and Sufi Amir scored one goal apiece for the winners. Pedro Zacharias smashed a field goal in the dying moments of the match but his heroics couldn’t save his team from the loss.

Juan Cruz Losada blasted a match-winning goal in the sudden death chukker to guide Dollar East/Master Paints a thrilling 8-7 victory over spirited Learning Alliance in the second match of the day.

Losada was main warrior of Dollar East/Master Paints as he developed five goals for the winners while rest of the three goals came from Hamza Mawaz Khan. For the losing side, Max Charlton slammed six goals and Ahmed Tiwana one but that weren’t enough to save their team’s blushes.

Losada scored the only goal of the first chukker while he hit and the team’s second in the start of the second chukker to make it 2-0. Hamza contributed one to further enhance their team’s lead to 3-0. Max then opened the account of Learning Alliance off 30-yard penalty hit to reduce the lead to 3-1 before the end of the second chukker.

Hamza enhanced Dollar East’s lead to 4-1 off 30-yard penalty hit. Learning Alliance then made a superb comeback as Max struck twice and Ahmed Tiwana once to end the chukker at 4-4 draw. Max continued his good form in the fourth chukker and added another one to provide Learning Alliance 5-4 lead which was soon leveled 5-5 by Dollar East through a field goal by Losada.

The fifth and last chukker saw both teams playing superb polo and scoring two goals each to finish the chukker at 7-7. Max struck twice for Learning Alliance while Hamza and Losada hit one goal apiece for Dollar East, which forced the match to be decided in the sudden death chukker where Losada produced a splendid goal to give Dollar East/Master Paints well-deserving 8-7 triumph.

In the third and last match of the day, Santiago Cernadas steered Diamond Paints to 12-4 triumph over Army Remounts.

Santiago Cernadas was star of the day for Diamond Paints as he played superb polo and slammed sterling six goals in his team’s win while Saqib Khan Khakwani also displayed quality mallot and horse work to gather four goals and Raja Taimur Nadeem hit two to land their team home safely. For the losing side, Major Haseeb Minhas struck twice while George Meyrick and Major General Isfandiyar Pataudi hit once each. English umpires Howard Smith and Ben Turner supervised all the three matches of the day.