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Mon 27th Nov 2023

La Natividad & La Dolfina Saudi Qualify for Final

The 130th Argentine Open

The action intensified over the weekend in the 130th Argentine Open with the finalists for Saturday 2 December now decided as La Natividad and La Dolfina Saudi. This will be La Natividad’s third consecutive Argentine Open Final and last won the title in 2021, while La Dolfina Saudi are the defending champions and this will be their 23rd Argentine Open Final since the team’s inception in 2000 and having made the cut every year since, except in 2004. 
On Saturday 25 November, La Dolfina defeated La Hache La Roca 16-12 in front of a sell out crowd. La Hache La Roca took the lead in the opening chukka, but by half-time La Dolfina had managed to get ahead with a 7-4 advantage. La Hache La Roca fought back in the fifth chukka and narrowed the gap to 8-9 with three goals from Polito Pieres and one from Hilario Ulloa and the score stayed close in the next two chukkas with La Dolfina only ahead by one goal, 12-11, going into the last chukka. However, Adolfo Cambiaso and Juan Martin nero turned up the heat in the final chukka, scoring three and one goal respectively, to once again secure La Dolfina a place in The Argentine Open Final, 16-12. 
The following day, Sunday 26 December, La Natividad clinched a 17-14 win over La Ensenada, securing the second spot in the highly anticipated championship match. Despite La Natividad's initial dominance and a 5-3 lead, La Ensenada showcased resilience in the third and fourth chukkas, narrowing the gap to 7-8 by half-time in an impressive display from both teams. In the fifth chukka, the Cañuelas-based team, led by Facundo Pieres, extended their lead to 10-8. La Ensenada, with contributions from Juano Britos and Jero del Carril, responded, trailing by just one goal. Jeta Castagnola's goal at the end of the fifth chukka re-established La Natividad's two goal lead. Overwhelming La Ensenada in the sixth chukka, La Natividad pushed their advantage to 13-8. With two chukkas remaining, the green jerseys held a 14-10 lead. In the final two chukkas, La Natividad faced a determined opponent. Starting the last chukka with a three-goal advantage, 16-13, the outcome remained uncertain. However, luck favoured La Natividad, securing a 17-14 win and the coveted second spot in the year's most significant Final.
The 130th Argentine Open Final Teams:
La Natividad (39): Facundo Pieres (9), Camilo Castagnola (10), Pablo Mac Donough (10) &  Barto Castagnola (10) 
La Dolfina Saudi (40): Adolfo Cambiaso (10), David ‘Pelon’ Stirling  (10), Poroto Cambiaso (10) & Juan Martín Nero (10) 
Photograph: La Natividad qualified for their third consecutive Argentine Open Final. By Matías Callejo/Prensa AAP

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