Lahore -  Master Paints/Rizvi’s and Barry’s qualified for the main final of the Hamdan Holdings Punjab Polo Cup 2018 after edging out their respective opponents here at the Lahore Polo Club (LPC) ground on Friday.

Juan Cruz Losada hammered a hat-trick to help Master Paints/Rizvi’s beat Diamond Paints/Guard Rice by 6-5½ in the thrilling first encounter of the day. Hamza Mawaz Khan, Saqib Khan Khakwani and Sufi Farooq completed the tally for the victors. Deigo Araya though smashed all the five goals for Diamond Paints/Guard Rice, which had half goal handicap advantage, yet his heroics couldn’t help his team register victory.

Master Paints/Rizvi’s were off to flying start as they hammered a hat-trick through Losada, Hamza and Saqib to take 3-0 lead. By the close of the first chukker, Deigo struck one to make it 3-1. MP/Rizvi’s maintained their supremacy in the second chukker as they thwarted a brace to have a healthy 5-1 lead. Sufi Farooq and Losada contributed one goal each.

Diamond Paints/Guard Rice bounced back in the third chukker by banging in a brace through Deigo to reduce the margin to 5-3. They also fought well in the fourth and last chukker as Deigo hit one more to further close the margin to 5-4 but Losada further stretched the lead to 6-4 through a field goal. Deigo continued his effort to score more which though paid off in the dying moments of the match when he converted a spot penalty to make it 6-5, yet struggle couldn’t bear fruit for Diamond Paints/Guard Rice, who lost by 6-5½.

The nail-biting second encounter saw Barry’s beating Newage/BBJ Pipes by 7-6. High-flying Juan Maria Ginazu (Tito) fired fabulous five goals for Barry’s while Ramiro Zavaleta and Bilal Haye hit one goal apiece.

Salvador Ulloa pumped in five goals and Ahmed Ali Tiwana one for Newage/BBJ Pipes but their heroics couldn’t help the cause of their team. Newage dominated the first chukker by scoring a hat-trick through Salvador while Barry’s hit one through Ramiro to make it 3-1. Barry’s bounced back in the second chukker by striking two through Bilal Haye and Ginazu to level the score 3-3. Ahmed Tiwana then converted one in the beginning of third chukker to give Newage 4-3 edge but Barry’s once again snatched the 5-4 lead from their opponents by banging in a brace through Ginazu.

The fourth and decisive chukker saw Barry’s adding one more through Ginazu to enhance their lead to 6-4. Salvador then thwarted two tremendous goals to draw the blood at 6-6. In the dying moments of the match, Ginazu slammed in the match-winning goal to guide Barry’s 7-6 win.

Five-star Ignasio Negri led Army to an impressive 8-5 triumph over Master Paints Black in the third and last encounter of the day. Besides Ignasio’s five goals, Omar Minhas (2 goals) and Brig Zulfiqar Ali Baig (1 goal) also played key role in their team’s victory.

Master Paints Black fully dominated the first chukker as Gerardo Mazzini hammered a hat-trick to give his team 3-0 edge. Army bounced back in the second chukker as they hammered four goals through Ignasio (3 goals) and Brig Zulfiqar (1 goal) to take 4-3 lead but Master Paints Black also converted two – one each by Agha Musa and Gerardo Mazzini - to take back 5-4 lead.

The third chukker remained goalless while Army stamped their authority in the fourth and last chukker where they thwarted a quartet – two each by Omar Minhas and Ignasio – to take an insurmountable 8-5 lead, which remained intact till the end, declaring them winners.