Valiente downs Coke in Armour semifinal, 8-6
By Alex Webbe
The semifinal of the 26-goal Lester Armour Cup saw stagnant offenses creep through the first half of play before Valiente (Bob Jornayvaz, Alejo Taranco, Facundo Sola and Adolfo Cambiaso) salted the game away in the final chukkers of an 8-6 win.
Just 55 seconds into the opening chukker Argentine 10-goaler Adolfo Cambiaso scored the first goal of the game and the only goal of the first period for the 1-0 score. Coca-Cola (Gillian Johnston, Sugar Erskine, Julio Arellano and Miguel Astrada) efforts fell short and they trailed after the first chukker.
A Valiente foul in front of their own goal rewarded Coca-Cola with a short penalty shot that Julio Arellano converted to tie the game at 1-1. Both teams had trouble controlling possession of the ball, but with just 48 seconds left in the chukker Cambiaso scored his second goal of the game to move ahead, 2-1.
With both teams continuing to struggle on offense, Facundo Sola drove the ball through the Coca-Cola goalposts from 40-yards out to extend the Valiente lead to two goals, 3-1. The final goal of the chukker came from Valiente as well, with Cambiaso racking up his third of the game to give Valiente a 4-1 halftime lead.
Following a brief halftime intermission both teams returned to the field. Goals continued to elude the players on both sides of the ball with the only goals in the chukker coming on penalty shots. Cambiaso scored first on a 60-yard conversion followed by a 30-yard penalty goal from Arellano. The chukker ended with Valiente holding on to their three goals lead, 5-2.
Alejo Taranco scored his first goal of the day from the field just 25 seconds into the fifth period, 6-2, when Coca-Cola ramped up their attack. An aggressive offense and a mistake-ridden defense allowed for Coca-Cola’s Arellano to score three consecutive penalty shots that brought them to within a goal of the lead, 6-5. Cambiaso ended the period with a 30-yard penalty shot that kept Valiente in front, 7-5.
Miguel Novillo Astrada scored his first goal at the 4:51 mark of the final chukker. Coca-Cola were in striking distance, trailing y just a single goal again, 7-6. Valiente continued to press their attack until a Coca-Cola foul sent Sola to the penalty line where he converted with just 2:54 on the clock for the 8-6 win.
Cambiaso scored five of his six goals from the field. Sola scored twice (once on a penalty conversion) and Taranco added a goal for the win. Arellano scored all five of his goals from the penalty line. Astrada accounted for the only other goal.