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Historic Dannish Win As Netherlands & Finland Advance At World Cup Of Pool

ROUND 1

Netherlands 7-4 Bosnia and Herzegovina
Finland 7-0 Iceland
France 2-7 Denmark

Denmark recorded their first ever World Cup of Pool victory, beating France 7-2 at Stadium MK, Milton Keynes on Monday, while there were also wins for Netherlands and Finland.

The Dutch duo of Niels Feijen and Marc Bijsterbosch used their tournament experience to overcome an impressive pairing of Sanjin Pehlivanovich and Ajdin Piknjac as Bosnia and Herzegovina made their World Cup debut. There was a debut too for Iceland, but they struggled at the table against Finish pair Petri Makkonen and Casper Matikainen, who recorded a 7-0 whitewash win.

Bosnia and Herzegovina gave a good account of themselves and had the session’s opening match level at 3-3. But Netherlands’ class and experience showed as they moved 5-3 ahead. Their opponents had a chance to pull one back when Pehlivanovich missed a 9, but Feijen cut it too thin, allowing Ajdin Piknjac to half the deficit.  However, that was the last frame they would win as Feijen and Bijsterbosch made balls when it mattered to advance to round two.

“What a relief,” said Bijsterbosch. “We waited a few days for the match so I am very happy with the result. “We have to keep moving but we are playing confidently and we grinding out the win.”

Feijen added: “These races to 7s with the brutal winner breaks and the table playing bouncy, it is hard to control the cue ball but we did really well, stuck to our guns and pulled out the win. These early rounds, I don’t think there are any favourites. In the end it could come down to experience and we have been to the semis, been to the quarters, and that can help carry you through.”

Netherlands will meet Finland tomorrow afternoon after a crushing 7-0 victory over Iceland for Petri Makkonen and Casper Matikainen. The unrelated Zophonias and Magnus Arnason struggled when they did get chances, but their table time was limited as Makkonen and debutant Matikainen closed out the first whitewash of the tournament.

“It was a good start with a good win, we didn’t do much wrong and we are feeling good,” said Makkonen.

Matikainen added: “I didn’t play too well this match but it is good to get the win. Playing Predator Championship League Pool helped me get used to the arena, it was my first time in a Matchroom event, and now I know what to expect.”

The session closed out with an impressive World Cup debut from Mickey Krause, who partnered Bahram Lotfy for Denmark. They played France (Alex Montpellier & Alain Da Costa), who were late replacements for Albania. Krause, a 20-year-old from Copenhagen, and partner Lotfy opened up a 4-0 lead before France got on the board. It was the first of only two racks for France, however, as Denmark made light work of the match and will face either Spain or Italy in the next round on Wednesday.

Round one continues on Monday evening at 5:30pm UK time with Spain vs. Italy, Germany vs. Lithuania and Poland vs. Kuwait. The World Cup of Pool is broadcast live globally including on Sky Sports, DAZN and Matchroom.Live. Full broadcast details can be found at matchroompool.com.

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Kaci’s Albania Among Latest Confirmed For World Cup Of Pool

Eklent Kaci’s Albanian team are among a number of nations now confirmed for the World Cup of Pool, which will take place this May 9-14 at Stadium MK, Milton Keynes, live on Sky Sports.

Mosconi Cup winner Kaci will again be joined by Besar Spahiu after the pair defeated Russia at the 2019 World Cup before falling agonisingly short against Philippines, suffering a 7-5 defeat.

A host of European teams are now confirmed, as well as Kuwait (Omar Al-Shaheen and Bader Abdullah Alawadhi), and Australia, who will again be represented by Justin Sajich, this time partnered by Ivan Li.

Serge Das will return for Belgium alongside Kevin Lannoye, while Bosnia & Herzegovina will make their World Cup of Pool debut with Sanjin Pehlivanovic and Ajdin Piknjac. Philipp Stojanovic and Roberto Bartol will represent Croatia, while the Czech Republic pairing will be Roman Hybler and Michal Gavenciak.

Young Danish star Mickey Krause will make his debut in the Matchroom arena with Bahram Lotfy as the 20-year-old’s partner.

Estonia’s Denis Grabe and Mark Magi, who famously fell out after losing a hill-hill second round match at the last World Cup of Pool, will be hoping nothing comes between them this time around. Oliver Szolnoki and Vilmos Foldes are teaming up for Hungary and there’s a World Cup debut for Lithuania, represented by Pijus Labutis and Kęstutis Žadeikis.

The World Cup of Pool features 32 two-player teams and is played to a straight-knockout format, with a total prize fund of $250,000.

Team Austria (Albin Ouschan and Mario He) will defend their title in Milton Keynes, but competition will be tough with some of the biggest names in pool already confirmed. They include, three-times winners Philippines (Jeff De Luna and Roberto Gomez), USA (Skyler Woodward and Billy Thorpe), and Great Britain A (Jayson Shaw and Chris Melling).

The final teams will be announced shortly and the draw for the World Cup of Pool will be made soon after all teams have been confirmed. The World Cup of Pool will be broadcast live on Sky Sports, DAZN and Matchroom.Live, with further international broadcasters to be confirmed.