Mohammad Soufi and Francisco Sanchez Ruiz will contest the World Pool Championship 2023 final from 6:30 pm (CET) live on Sky Sports, Matchroom.Live, Viaplay, DAZN, and TV networks worldwide after an afternoon of drama in Kielce, Poland.
Soufi was relatively unknown on the world stage until this week with his best Matchroom finish to date being at last year’s European Open where he reached the Last 32. The Syrian left Wu Kun Lin frozen in his chair at times as he raced into a 6-0 within inside 45 minutes. Wu had chances but otherwise it was flawless pool by Soufi. There was further opportunities for Wu to cut the lead and he did so at 6-3 aided by a golden break, it seemed the pendulum was swinging.
In the 11th, Wu played an outstanding kick on the two before clearing up to make it 7-4 but it was short-lived, whenever he tried to cut the deficit, mistakes happened and Soufi punished him. At 9-6 up, Soufi was presented a gilt-edged opportunity to reach the hill after Wu miscued on the four ball. The miscue was the last say on the match by Wu has Soufi swept in to complete a memorable win and secure a place in the final.
Francisco Sanchez Ruiz stood in the way of He and the final with the US Open champion winning their last seven encounters but He was in no mood for that to be eight as he rattled in the opening four racks to lead comfortably with no reply. Sanchez Ruiz cut the deficit at 4-1 but soon He had another rack on the board.
The eighth rack was one of the most dramatic witnessed on the world stage as both sparred for an opportunity that could take the tie one way or another. Both Sanchez Ruiz and He had chances at the table with the former involved in a freakish incident that saw his cue ball hit the back of the pocket and somehow not fall off the table with the two ball trickling in after a failed jump shot. Sanchez Ruiz then missed the three with composure lost to allow He back to the table. The drama continued after He tried to play a carom on the nine only to leave it open for Sanchez Ruiz. Sanchez Ruiz missed the following eight ball when cutting to allow his Austrian opponent to clean up for 7-2.
A costly error in the 10th from He brought Sanchez Ruiz his moment to find a comeback to make it 7-3 and soon a break and run in the 11th put him back within touching distance at 7-4.
It was an up-and-down contest that was on a knife edge. Sanchez Ruiz led for the first time at 8-7 to come from behind and look the better player to dig deep and stay in the contest where it seemed He would come good. He drew level at 8-8 but the drama wasn’t quite done yet, with Sanchez Ruiz’s three cushion experience coming in clutch to put He in a world of bother to reach the hill at 10-8 before seeing it out for a huge 11-8 win and meet Soufi in the final.
The final action begins at 6:30pm (CET) where only one can take home the $60,000 first-place prize and become champion of the world. See the action live on Sky Sports in the UK and Ireland, Viaplay in Poland, Scandinavia, the Baltics, and the Netherlands, DAZN in the USA and Italy as well as on Matchroom.Live and broadcasters worldwide. See where to watch here.
Sunday, 5 February – 6:30 pm (CET)
The Final – Race to 13
Francisco Sanchez Ruiz (ESP) vs Mohammad Soufi (SYR)