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2014 Betway World Cup of Pool – Europe 2, Asia 0 as Finns and Austrians make semis

world_cup_of_pool_2014_betway27 September

Quarter-Finals
Austria 9-3 China
Finland 9-7 Philippines

2012 champions Finland fought back from 4-2 and 7-5 down to knock defending champions Philippines out of the Betway World Cup of Pool at the quarter-final stage with a 9-7 victory at the Mountbatten Centre in Portsmouth.

The match was a story of supreme shot making from both sides but it was Mika Immonen and Petri Makkonen who made it to Sunday’s semi-finals, where they join an Austrian side who shocked China in a 9-3 victory.

At 7-7 Dennis Orcollo tried a tough jump to pocket the one but cannoned the cue ball into the seven and gave Finland ball in hand. From there Finland reached the hill and didn’t allow Philippines back to the table as they booked a semi-final against either England A or USA, who face off tonight.

“It was a nail-biter and we were hanging in there by the skin of our teeth,” admitted Immonen. “We somehow got ourselves over the finish line in the end.

“We played perfect position in the final rack. Makkonen is breaking the best of anybody in the tournament. I have figured the break out and we are both breaking well now, which is a good sign for tomorrow.

Makkonen added: “It is easy to play when you have a good partner, good atmosphere and a good table. If we play our own game it doesn’t matter who we play, so I don’t mind if it is England A or USA.”

Team China vs. Team Austria

Team China vs. Team Austria

Earlier, a flawless Austria set up a semi-final against either Germany or Holland with a 9-3 victory over an out of sorts China.

Mario He and Albin Ouschan enjoyed break and runs a number of times but their opponents Wang Can and Dang Jinhu didn’t take enough of the opportunities they had, and a scratch in rack nine allowed Austria to reach the hill at 8-2.

China did manage to claim one more rack but when Jinhu fouled attempting a thin slice on the one ball Austria took ball in hand to finish the match.

“We played well under pressure and they made a couple of mistakes which we didn’t expect,” said Ouschan. “Holland and Germany are both very good and that will be a good match this evening. I don’t care who wins and who we play.

Team Finland Mika Immonen and Petri Makkonen

Team Finland Mika Immonen and Petri Makkonen

“China played perfectly against England B yesterday but today they made a lot of mistakes. It is race to nine, we broke and run four racks today and anybody can do that at this stage. Anybody can win the tournament.”

He added: “It was a bit nervy at the end. We could have made it 9-2 but we played a bad safety and allowed them to get back to 8-3. At that stage we made some positional mistakes but finally we got through.”

All tickets are priced at £5 (afternoons) and £10 evenings and are available from the venue or www.seetickets.com

Diamond Billiards are the Official Table of the 2014 World Cup of Pool; the Official Cloth is supplied by Iwan Simonis and the Official Balls are Super Aramith. Predator is the Official Cue of the event.

Luke Riches, Matchroom Sport: luke.riches@matchroom.com

Notes: Matchroom Sport are one of the world’s leading producers of televised sport and are responsible for over 1,000 hours of original programming across a range of sports. Based in the UK and chaired by charismatic founder Barry Hearn, the World Cup of Pool is one of a stable of pool events that include the World Pool Masters and the Mosconi Cup.