USA and Germany Struggle Through World Cup Round Two

Fabio Petroni and Bruno Muratore celebrate their win

The American team of US Open champions Shane Van Boening and Rodney Morris eased their way into the quarter-finals of the World Cup of Pool but not without a struggle as they overcame the battling Croatian team 8-5 at the Outland in Rotterdam.

Like Germany, who had scraped a win over Poland earlier in the session, USA were not at their best but still did enough to secure a victory. The winning margin was 8-5 and the USA will now play Austria for a place in the semi-final.

The USA had overcome Iceland in routine fashion in their first match but Croatia had pulled off the best recovery so far as they fought back from 7-2 down to defeat Spain.

Croatia's Ivica Putnik beat USA's Shane van Boening in the lag but Croatia produced a dry break. The crucial moment in the opener came when Putnik potted the pink 4 but the cue ball hit the knuckle of the right side pocket and then disappeared into the left side pocket as America went one up.

The Europeans instantly levelled after Van Boening scratched on the break and Philipp Stojanovic made a good pot on the 9-ball after Putnik had left him with a difficult shot after underhitting his previous positional effort.

A Putnik scratch helped put USA back in front before a lucky fluke on the 2-ball from Van Boening led to it becoming 3-1.

Both sides won one of the next two for 4-2 before Croatia had some bad luck when a 7-8 combination worked but the 7-ball ended up tight behind the 9-ball. Putnik opted for power but left it on and it was 5-2.

A missed one from Putnik saw it move to 6-2 and seconds later it was 7-2 thanks to a golden break from Morris.

Croatia had already fought back once in this tournament from 7-2 behind and they would have to do so again.

They made a bright start as a double kiss on the green six from van Boening led to Croatia taking the tenth for 7-3 before the same player missed the same ball in the next and the scoreline now showed 7-4.

They made a bright start as a double kiss on the green six from van Boening led to Croatia taking the tenth for 7-3 before the same player missed the same ball in the next and the scoreline now showed 7-4.

The fightback seemed on when Croatia won the 12th but America ended the resistance by winning the 13th to seal the match.

THE GERMAN pairing of Ralf Souquet and Thomas Engert moved into the quarter-finals, but  they will be relieved to still be in the competition as both players struggled with their break shots before clinching a narrow 8-6 victory over Poland's Radoslaw Babica and Mateusz Sniegocki.

Germany, who are one of the favourites to win the title on Sunday, now meet either England or Canada in the last eight on Saturday.

Poland won the lag but Germany were soon at the table with Engert sinking the 9-ball for 1-0. A German dry break gave Poland a chance in the second but Babica's missed brown 7 proved costly and it was 2-0.

Souquet's break in the third was illegal and the Poles ran out from there. Both sides were having trouble mastering the break as Babica came up dry in the fourth and Germany moved two ahead before Engert's break saw him opt for power that sent the cue ball to the carpet. Poland capitalised to now trail by 3-2.

Germany then restored their two-rack advantage before Poland, aided by an outrageous fluke from Sniegocki where his pot on the green six missed in the top right pocket and then went in the side pocket brought it back to 4-3.

It should have been 5-3 to the Germans but Souquet failed to down a pottable 8-ball and that gifted Poland the rack for 4-4.

Poland, took the lead for the first time in the match by winning the ninth, although a dry break in the tenth gave Germany a chance to tie the match up instantly.

Unbelievably, Germany had more problems with their next break. So from five breaks they had had four dry breaks and one foul and again it proved costly as Poland moved two racks away from a huge upset.

Poland then also produced a dry break and Engert and Souquet ran out for 6-6.

Souquet decided to break from the other side of the table for the first time and had his first legal break but had to play safe. However, a one-rail escape from a snooker from Babica went wrong to give Germany ball-in-hand and they moved to the hill at 7-6.

When they needed it most, Engert came up with a good break and Germany ran out to triumph 8-6.

IN THE FIRST match of the day, Italy secured only the fourth whitewash in World Cup of Pool history as they destroyed Korea 8-0.

A succession of bad shots and a dose of bad luck contributed to Korea exiting the tournament as Italy booked a quarter-final spot with China.

Korea had produced one of the performances of the first round as they eliminated last year's runner-up Finland.

But Woong-dae Kim and Young-hwa Jeong could not recapture that form in the early stages of their last 16 match against Italy.

The Italian side, consisting of Fabio Petroni and Bruno Muratore, raced to a 5-0 lead, aided by a number of poor shots and misjudgements from the Koreans.

Korea came up with a dry break and then did not get another shot until the third rack as Italy moved two ahead with an error-free opening.

The Asians got to the table in the third but made no impact as Jeong missed an attempted 1-9 carom before Kim dogged a simple-looking 8-ball into the side pocket for 3-0. Italy had made two mistakes in the rack but still won it.

Woo was struggling and missed a straight-forward 7-ball down the side rail and it was 4-0 before Italy ran out the fifth to extend the advantage further.

Despite a dry break and Korea having a number of opportunities the score then ticked over to 6-0. However, for the first time Korea had been unlucky, instead of playing poorly in a rack.

A good break from Muratore left Italy with a shot on the 1-ball and it was 7-0. Italy also had a shot on the 1-ball in the next but Muratore missed the pink 4 to give Korea another chance. They could not capitalise as Kim failed with a 4-9 carom and the match was over 8-0.