Poland and Austria sealed the first quarter-final spots at the 2023 World Cup of Pool at Pazo de Feiras e Congresos de Lugo, Spain in partnership with The Asociación Gallega de Billar Pool (AGP), Xunta de Galicia and EIDF Solar live on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland, DAZN in Spain, the USA, Italy, and Brazil, Viaplay in Scandinavia, the Baltics and Poland and broadcasters worldwide.
Before the second round matches got underway, the USA’s Shane Van Boening and Skyler Woodward wrapped up a comfortable passage in the final round one match-up over South Korea’s Seo Seoa and Kang Lee 7-1. At first, the contest was close at 1-1 after errors from both sides led to an open start to the match up but from there it was plain sailing for Woodward and Van Boening as they showed their experience and quality on the main stage to wrap up victory. Lee had a chance at 3-1 down on the six after being left a good lie by Seoa but it wasn’t capitalised on to allow the USA in for 4-1. At 6-1 down, Seoa was left in a tricky hook by the USA leaving her to foul, and from there, victory was routine for Van Boening and Woodward with only four balls left on the table.
In the first of the second round action, Albania were looking to get the better of Poland and reach the quarter-finals for the first time but it didn’t get off to the best of starts for UK Open champion Eklent Kaçi and Besar Spahiu with the latter missing a routine nine for 1-0. At 2-0 down, Kaçi fluked the six to allow Albania in and they took advantage to make it two apiece.
Albania’s errors were stacking up and a loose safety from Spahiu brought in Poland to attack further for a 5-3 lead and leave their opponents ruing costly mistakes. Kaçi put a two ball up the rail but it rattled around only for Poland’s Wiktor Zielinski to also miss the same ball, Spahiu also failed to deliver before Konrad Juszczyszyn tapped it in to reach the hill first.
The match was up for Albania in the tenth after Spahiu’s bank saw him scratch to give ball in hand for Zielinski and Juszczyszyn to finish the job for an impressive win to meet either Germany or Canada next.
Two-time champions Austria survived an early scare in round one coming from behind to defeat Australia on the hill with Albin Ouschan and Mario He knowing a stronger performance would be needed to oust Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Sanjin Pehlivanovic and Ajdin Piknjac in the second stage. Pehlivanovic and Piknjac who both play out of Bosnia & Herzegovina’s capital Sarajevo went 2-1 up early on to take the early fight to Austria but that was truly as good as it got for the pair in this contest.
Austria turned it quickly around for a 4-2 lead and they led from there on in despite Bosnia getting a rack on the board for 4-3. In the next rack, Pehlivanovic played a loose safety on the six and it gave Ouschan and He there moment to be two away from victory. In the end, it was routine for Austria with Great Britain or Vietnam awaiting next with Ouschan crunching three balls in the same pocket on the break to provide a routine road map for victory in the final rack 7-3.
Frida, 30 June (pm) Match Odds
Philippines 1/2 – 6/4 Spain B
Singapore 11/10 – 4/6 China
Netherlands 11/8 – 8/15 Chinese Taipei
The 2023 World Cup of Pool continues from 7pm tonight local time live on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland with those in Spain, Italy, and the USA able to watch on DAZN. Fans in Scandinavia, Baltics, Netherlands, and Poland can watch on Viaplay with further broadcasters around the world. See where to watch in your country here with more broadcasters to be announced. Action will also be live on Matchroom.Live.
The 2023 World Cup of Pool will be played alongside the 31st Galician Team Pool Billiards Championship, which will bring together more than 1,000 players in the Pazo de Ferias y Congresos de Lugo, where more than 40 tables will be in action. The participants in this tournament considered the biggest in Europe, will compete for the regional titles and the prizes arranged by the Galician Association of Pool Billiards.