The by-line of St. Moritz is ‘Top of the World’ and sitting in the packed grandstands for the finals today it does truly feel like there is no place better to be anywhere on the globe. Record crowds have descended upon the iconic frozen lake, set in the beautiful, sun-bathed setting of the Engadin Valley, to watch the snow polo giants do battle.
The first match of the day was the La Martina Trophy played between Badrutt’s Palace and Maserati for third and fourth place. Maserati seized on the ball and scored within seconds of the starting bell; quickly capitalising on the 2.5 goal lead they had for goal allowance. In a nail-biting cliffhanger and with just over a minute on the clock, it looked as though last years’ champions were going to pull a proverbial rabbit out of the hat as a penalty was awarded to them. But it was not to be as the ball went wide, final time was called and Maserati ran out the winners with a close victory of 7.5 goals to 5.
Afterwards, the Final between Azerbaijan – Land of Fire and St. Moritz. After the clash between these two teams on Saturday, which resulted in a very close score, it was certainly hard to predict who would be victorious. The Azeri team started with a half goal advantage due to handicap, but despite expectations of a cohesive and multi-faceted attacking style, the boys in white did not ignite their polo fires and the result was that Valery Mishchenko’s ‘Red Devils’ in the iconic scarlet shirts of St. Moritz found the posts twice before the half time bell with nothing in reply from the Azeris. With the wind beginning to pick up, it meant that accuracy on goal was hard, and two pivotal goal chances were missed by Azerbaijan, but it was a case of third time lucky as a goal from the Azerbaijan Captain, the talented Elchin Jamalli signalled the start of their offensive attack bringing the scores to a close 1.5 -3. The fourth chukka was thrilling, but it was Robert Strom who needs a special mention scoring a great goal that sealed the deal for his team. As the final bell sounded the final score was 4-1.5.
Team Maserati: Kutlay Yaprak 1, Valentin Novillo Astrada 6, Adrian Laplacette 6, Fabio Meier 1.
Team Azerbaijan Land of Fire: Elcin Jamalli 2, Pato Bolanteiro 4, Agustin Kronhaus 3, Santiago Marambio 6.
Team Badrutt’s Palace Hotel: Melissa Ganzi 0, Juan Bautista Peluso 2, Nic Roldan 8, Alejandro Novillo Astrada 8.
Team St. Moritz: Zhanna Bandurko / Valery Mishchenko 0, Robert Strom 5, Max Charlton 6, Nacho Gonzalez 6.
Best Playing Patron: Fabio Meier.
MVP: Max Charlton,.
BPP: Casanova played by Nacho Gonzalez.
The Snow Polo World Cup St. Moritz 2020 has managed to surpass all expectations and had once again been a triumph at every level and a credit to Reto Gaudenzi and his 250 strong team. The iconic resort of St. Moritz had achieved the pinnacle of beauty, hospitality and world class polo. For the people that could not attend the event, the three-days tournament was STREAMED LIVE via POLOLINE TV.
Be sure to attend 2021 edition of Snow Polo World Cup St. Moritz on 29, 30 & 31 January!