Kingfisher first had to gulp down flat beer on Saturday — they could not make it to the final of the Indian Open Polo Championship despite putting up a splendid show against Jindal Steel & Power and winning 9-7 at the Jaipur Ground.
Instead, Jindal sailed into the final on better goal difference, their 10-6 win over Majaara in their previous league match proving decisive. Jindal will take on Johor Tiger in the summit clash on Sunday.
Johor Tigers — with two of the best Argentineans in the business, Santiago de Estrada and Martin Ravina — played a close-knit game with Indian pros Manupal Godara and Ravi Rathore to get the better of defending champions Majaara with a 12-10 margin.
Ravina notched up seven goals, and Estrada chipped in with three. Kingfisher needed to beat Jindal by at least six goals to qualify for the final.
They had the momentum initially, taking a 5-2 lead in the first two chukkers, but then Jindal’s Argentine import Romario Garros changed the complexion of the match with two quick goals in the third chukker.
After a goalless fourth chukker, Jindal came back strongly in the fifth to score three to equalise at 7-all. In the end, the task at hand proved too great for Kingfisher to enjoy the good times one more day.
Kingfisher First 9 (Basheer Ali 4, Uday Kalaan 1, James Harper, Vishal Singh 4) bt Jindals 7 (Tarun Sirohi 1, Angad Kalaan 1, Ramiro Garros 4, Samir Suhag 1). Johor Tigers 12 (Ravi Rathore 2, Manupal Godara, Martin Ravina 7, Santiago de Estrada 3) bt Majaara 10 (Satinder Garcha 5, Horacio Etchevery 5, Gerardo Mazzini, Lokendra Singh).