Chinese Taipei thrashed Finland 7-1 to underline their 2023 World Cup of Pool hopes 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.
Netherlands 7-4 Hong Kong, China
Chinese Taipei 7-1 Finland
Poland 7-2 Serbia
The Ko brothers Pin Yi and Ping Chung set out against former winners in Petri Makkonen and Mika Immonen with the intention of adding another star next to their own country’s accolades having last lifted the title eight years ago in 2015.
Finland got off to the worst of starts with no table time until the third rack and even then it didn’t go to plan for them as Chinese Taipei got back to establish a 3-0 advantage.
At 5-1 down, Finland got into trouble from the break, and from there, they found themselves 6-1 down after they fell to the three foul rule, compounded with Immonen scratching after a safety that left him searching for any sight on the two ball. A routine finish in the following rack gave Pin Yi and Ping Chung a win to set up an enticing tie with the Netherlands in the second round.
The Netherlands were made to work for their second-round spot overcoming Hong Kong, China’s duo of Lo Ho Sum and Robbie Capito 7-4. Marc Bijsterbosch fresh off the back of a run to a maiden final at the Spanish Open last week and three-time finalist Niels Feijen found themselves 3-1 down early on with their dynamic opposition taking the fight to them.
Bijsterbosch in the seventh rack at 3-3 played a poor safety on the two which allowed the Hong Kong, China side in to capitalise and establish an advantage again at 4-3 but that would be the last time the pair would be leading as the Netherland’s turned on the style to make sure it wouldn’t be an early exit.
If ever a game was turned on a sixpence this would’ve been it with a Capito scratch from the break in the eigth bringing the Dutch to the table and they wasted no time in turning proceedings around with no let up at 4-4 and soon 5-4 up. A tricky table layout in the following rack was small fish as they reached the hill with their third rack on the spin and soon it was game over at 7-4 for a safe passage in the end for Feijen and Bijsterbosch.
Poland has a new scotch double pairing for this year’s competition of Wiktor Zielinski and Konrad Juszczyszyn and they wasted no time in getting used to each other’s game as they took hold of Serbia’s Aleksa Pecelj and Lazar Kostic.
At 1-1, inexperience showed for Pecelj and Kostic with an errant seven ball bringing the Poles to the table and they pounced on the error to lead at 2-1 and then 3-1. In the sixth rack, Serbia nearly fell to the three-foul rule but Poland had an easy 4-9 combo to move ahead at 4-2. Kostic missed a purple five and Poland took hold further at 5-2 and then 6-2 before clearing up for 7-2 with little room for breath.
Evening Match Odds
Germany 1/7 – New Zealand 4/1
Hungary 1/1 – Bosnia & Herzegovina 8/11
Spain B 8/13 – Saudi Arabia 6/5
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.