Team Europe Wins Day Two for 8-2 Lead

Team USA finally had a glimmer of a reason to smile

Day two of the 2013 Mosconi Cup is complete and while Team USA has less of a reason to hang their heads, they still have a lot of work in front of them.

Starting the day in a 0-5 hole, Team USA had to make a statement early, and that didn't happen.
Team USA questionably sent out Johnny Archer & Rodney Morris to take on Niels Feijen and Karl Boyes from Team Europe. Archer & Morris had struggled the most of any US players on day one and it showed early in this match as the European duo raced to a 3-0 lead. The lead might have led Europe to think that Archer & Morris had lost their will to play, but that was not the case. A sloppy six ball by Feijen in rack four, a good roll for Morris in rack five and a bad kick attempt by Feijen in rack six led to a ties score at 3-3. Team USA's comeback attempt would stall though, and they would win one of the next four racks and drop the match 6-4.
The second match of the day saw Dennis Hatch for Team USA and Ralf Souquet for Team Europe. Hatch was noticeably subdued compared to his usual intensity, and it seemed to help a great deal as Hatch played great pool on the way to a 4-1 lead over Souquet. Souquet though, had been in situations like this before and he never let it get him down. Souquet cooly and calmly rallied to tie the score at 4-4 and then take the lead at 5-4. Rack ten saw the pool gods gift Hatch with a 9-ball break, and the score was tied at 5 all. The final rack of the match went to a long safety battle, but it was Hatch that blinked first when he left a window to the one ball for Souquet and the German took complete advantage of that opportunity and ran the rack for a 6-5 win.
Match three finally saw the two top US players from Day one, Earl Strickland & Shane Van Boening, in action while Team Europe sent out Darren Appleton & Mika Immonen. Van Boening would come up short early in the match and Team Europe took a 3-1 lead. Team USA then got back on track and won four games in a row to take a 5-3 lead, but Team Europe would win the next two to tie things at hill-hill again. It was looking pretty bad for Team USA after a missed four-ball by Strickland left an open table for Team Europe, but Immonen would miss a touchy 7-ball that he would have made 9 times out of 10 and Team USA was more than happy to clear things up for their first point and a 7-1 overall scoreline.
Any momentum that Team USA might have felt was in their favor was quickly terminated by Niels Feijen. Feijen put on an exhibition of perfect pool and crushed Johnny Archer 6-0; but in fairness to Archer, he didn't have much of a chance to make any difference in this match.
While Team USA had certainly had reasons to complain about rolls early in this year's Mosconi Cup, the pool gods would do their best to even things up for Team USA in match five with Rodney Morris & Shane Van Boening taking on Mika Immonen and Karl Boyes. Team Europe held a 5-3 lead, with Boyes breaking for the match when a 9-ball raced out of the rack with it's sights set on the corner pocket. The 9-ball would stop rolling on the edge of the corner pocket and nothing else would find a pocket, leaving Team USA with a new life in the match. A 4-9 combo was followed up with a table run from Team USA and the score was tied at 5-5 for the third time this day. Immonen broke the final rack, but came up dry and Team USA maneuvered their way through the rack for a 6-5 win and an 8-2 overall Mosconi Cup score.
Players from Team Europe commented after the day's play that they simply wanted to win the day and that they did, but at least Team USA has had a taste of victory and maybe that taste will make them hungry enough to bring their "A Games" to the table on day three.