The USA thumped Canada 7-1 to reach the Last 16 of the 2022 World Cup of Pool at the Brentwood Centre, Essex live on Sky Sports Arena in the UK, DAZN in the USA, Canada, Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Viaplay in Scandinavia, the Baltics, Netherlands, and Poland. Matchroom.Live in territories without a broadcaster.
Nineball World No. 1 Shane Van Boening and two-time Mosconi Cup MVP Skyler Woodward faced off at the top of the evening session against old foes Canada who had John Morra and Pagulayan flying the maple leaf.
Van Boening and Woodward won the lag and didn’t look back from there as they gather momentum early doors to leave their counterparts trailing 3-0 going into the break. Canada never got going with both Morra and Pagulayan struggling to get to grips with the speed of the table and conditions. It was relatively plain sailing for the USA as they went 6-0 up and one away. In the seventh, Van Boening scratched off the break and Canada had their first rack on the board at 6-1. The USA completed their job in the following rack though to make the Last 16 without breaking a sweat.
Woodward: “I know I felt comfortable and Shane looked the same. We played well. Pretty consistent. We are happy. Overall I feel like we played good. I feel every match we can get better and break better. We got there a few days early and got some rest. Today I feel good having feeling tired. We will feel better every day.”
World Champion Van Boening added: “The only mistake was the scratch. I am not feeling too good on my break but I will be practicing. We have been playing together for many years. He knows my game well and I know him well. I think we’re a good match and we just go out there and play pool.”
Hungary were next out onto the table against the Czech Republic with Oliver Szolnoki partnered up with veteran Vilmos Foldes whilst Czech hopes fell on the shoulders of Petr Urban and Roman Hybler in what proved to be the closest match of the opening day as it was the Hungarians who ran out eventual winners 7-4.
At 1-0 up, Hungary seemed to be finding a rhythm quicker than the Czech Republic but that turned in a bizarre incident that saw them lose the second rack on the three consecutive foul rule, something lesser seen in the game. That moment could’ve proven to push Hungary off-kilter but they were allowed back to the table in the following rack after the Czechs found themselves hooked on the six ball to allow Szolnoki the moment to make it 2-1.
It was error-strewn at times as it soon went 2-2. The control of the cue ball was proving to be troublesome for Urban and Hybler and it was just that as they missed the 9 to establish a lead for the first time. Pick your moment was the story of the match though with neither getting away from each other. Hungary timed theirs to perfection though as they went 6-4 up to be one away from victory. Foldes and Szolnoki is a new pairing for Hungary and they will have been relieved to see the back of the opening match as they sealed their win as they look to do better than reaching the quarter-finals in 2013.
Spain head into this week as one of the early tournament favourites and came up against Australia’s Ivan Meng Li and James Georgiadis. David Alcaide and Francisco Sanchez Ruiz took the moment with relative ease in a 7-1 win amassing six racks before Australia’s opening rack. The force of El Matador and FSR proved too much for Australia as they wrapped up an opening win to meet Albania next.
Alcaide: “We enjoy playing together every time. This tournament is special for us. We train to win from round to round but then we see the beautiful tournament. we work so hard togerher. PRactice together, play together, go to tournaments together. Every team is tough but in a Race to 7 anything can happen. We believe in our game.
Action continues from 11 am tomorrow morning with the USA against Canada live on Sky Sports Arena at 5pm as well as live on DAZN in the USA, Canada, Spain, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Viaplay in Scandinavia, the Baltics, Netherlands, and Poland. See the full list of broadcasters here including Matchroom.Live if no broadcaster is available.