June 21, 2011
India dethrone defending champion South Africa to enter the
final of the FIP Polo
World Cup 2011 - Zone D playoffs being played in Malaysia. India
to play Pakistan in the final on Sat June 25.
Click here for more images from the FIP Polo World Cup Zone D
India and Pakistan set themselves up a dream Indian
sub-continent final in the Asian-Australasian-African Polo
Championships after beating their respective semi-final
opponents at the Royal Pahang Polo Grounds here today.
India dethroned defending champions South Africa with an
impressive 9-5 win.
The final on Saturday and the third and fourth place playoff on
Friday will be held at the Royal Selangor Polo Club in Kuala
India and Pakistan assured themselves a place in this year's FIP
Polo World Cup Finals in San Luis, Argentina from Oct 11-25.
They will be joined by in the Finals by the winners of the third
and fourth placing match this Friday.
India had an ace in 36-year-old Samir Suhag (Handicap 5), who
fell off his mount twice at the same spot in the third and final
chukka, fired five goals and take his personal tally to 16 goals
in three matches. Samir scored four goals in the third and
fourth chukka and signed it off in the final chukka.
A jubilant India team manager Vikram Rathore said: "This is the
best polo team India has assembled in over 20 years. We have
remained unbeaten here and we are improving with every match.
"It was a good win over South Africa. We trained together for
four months. India have achieved the first target...that was to
make the semi-finals. Now our next target is to win the title.”
It was a vain effort for South Africa's Lance Watson who scored
all the five goals for his team but coach Clive Peddle has not
given up hope on his team. "We still have the third and fourth
place to play for and there is still one more slot for the World
Cup Finals,” said Peddle.
The seven-team Asian-Australasian-African Championships also
served as the Zone D Qualifier for the World Cup.