Spain B kept Spanish hearts longing for glory after defeating Saudi Arabia in the final match of the evening session on day two of 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.
Germany 7-2 New Zealand
Hungary 1-7 Bosnia & Herzegovina
Spain B 7-1 Saudi Arabia
Jonas Souto Comino and Jose Alberto Delgado kept hopes alive with a confident showing in front of a vocal home crowd whilst Saudi Arabia on their debut had Khalid Alghamdi and Mohannad Hamoud Alghumayz in their corner. It was clear the crowd was spurring on Alberto Delgado and Souto Comino, the two latest prodigies to come out of the host nation. The pair quickly assembled an early advantage at 3-0 and 4-0 to be well clear of their opponents. Alghumayz and Alghamdi had opportunities but they were gilt-edged and best and it showed as Spain B continued to take control at 5-0 and reach the hill at 6-0. Saudi Arabia had their chance to get a rack on the board though after a dry break in the seventh.
Spain B’s first chance to seal it came with a 5-9 combo in the eighth rack but it didn’t prove to be for Delgado and from there, Saudi Arabia had another rack on the board to leave the home nation sweating. A fluke from Alghumayz on the six didn’t help Saudi Arabia’s cause in the ninth though with Alghamdi forced to try and play safe on the seven but it was loose and Delgado stepped up to nail the seven and then the winning nine.
Germany began the evening at a rampant pace with a new dynamic duo of Joshua Filler and Moritz Neuhausen joining forces for a youthful feel to the 2021 champions. New Zealand stood in their way who were hunting for their first-ever win at the World Cup of Pool and with a new face in their line-up alongside Matthew Edwards in Sullivan Clark, hopes were high despite being on the end of a heavy defeat to Germany in last year’s competition.
NZ started the better of the two sides despite a poor lag that saw Germany breaking first. Neuhausen missed a 6-8 combo and it allowed Edwards and Clark to step in and lead 1-0 and have hope for an improved outcome than 12 months ago. Before too long, it was 2-1 to the Kiwis and the game was well and truly on. In the fourth rack, Clark made an errant effort on the six rack and Filler nailed the ending nine for two apiece.
Filler and Neuhausen needed to turn the screw quickly to get ahead in the contest and they proceeded to do so with little challenge from their counterparts as they went on to win the following five racks for a convincing passage to the second round where Canada’s Alex Pagulayan and John Mora await next.
Bosnia & Herzegovina’s meet with Hungary was going to be one of the toughest calls heading into the tournament with the former unfortunate to miss out on a seeded spot in the tournament whilst Oliver Szolnoki was hoping to spearhead Hungarian hopes after a run to the second round last year.
The prerequisites to the contest didn’t quite pan out as many would have predicted though as despite taking the opening rack, Hungary did very little right since that point. Sanjin Pehlivanovic and Ajdin Piknjac looked far more composed in the contest with that extra experience between the pairing showing as Hungary’s Bezdan Attila fumbled a five ball bank to allow Bosnia & Herzegovina in for 1-1.
At 3-1 down, Attila missed a thin cut on the three to open up another opportunity that could be ill-afforded as Pehlivanovic and Piknjac picked up another rack for 4-1. Bosnia & Herzegovina will meet Austria next in what will prove to be a much tougher assignment in the next stage but for now they revelled in their first win in the tournament 7-1.
Thursday, 29 June (pm) Match Odds
Syria 13/8 – China 4/9
Kuwait 4/5 – Vietnam 10/11
Japan 4/7 – Italy 5/4
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.