Japan Comeback KOs Croats
Germans White Wash Hong Kong
In an outstanding effort, the Japanese team of Satoshi Kawabata and Hayato Hijikata, looked to be down and out at the PartyCasino.net World Cup of Pool before coming back from a 6-3 deficit to beat Croatia 8-6 and advance to round two at the SM Mall North Annex in Manila.
The Croatian paring of Philipp Stojanovic and Ivica Putnik looked pained at the conclusion and they had played well throughout, but the Japanese dug deep and played superbly when it mattered.
Croatia looked smooth in the early stages as they moved into a 4-2 lead but Putnik deposited the cue ball on the floor from his break shot in the seventh and that allowed Japan to pull one back.
There were a few Japanese flag-waving fans in the crowd and they were silenced by the Croatians who took the next two to get to 6-3 and look in a commanding position.
Another foul break from Putnik put Japan back in and they took advantage to get within two racks and that was just one as Hijikata buried the 9 ball in the 11th game.
The 12th rack was an eventful one for Hijikata as he pushed out, missed a pot at the 1-ball and also the 4-ball. But it didn’t matter as Croatia failed to take their chance and the scores are tied.
Japan moved into the lead for the first time at 7-6. Croatia had a chance in the 14th rack but Stojanovic missed a shot at the 1-ball and looked dejected as he slumped back into his chair.
It was to be his countries last shot of the competition as Hijikata held his nerve to book a last 16 spot for Japan.
The Hong Kong duo of Kenny Kwok and Lee Chenman didn’t get too many opportunities as the Germans kept them away from table with precision play throughout.
Hohmann, playing in his first World Cup of Pool looked outstanding throughout as they limited the Hong Kong team’s opportunities.
“If I could choose any player in the world to play scotch doubles with it would be Ralf,” said Hohmann.
“We had a lot of fun out there and it was great to be involved,” he added.
Souquet was delighted to get the first match out of the way: “Hong Kong could not show much of their skills. Playing doubles is much harder but it worked very well today. Thorsten played extremely well; he played almost perfectly and that made it easy for the both of us.”
“Winning this match was a big confidence boost but there are so many great teams here. For us the next step is France which will be tough because they played great in their first match and it will not be easy but we’re looking forward to it,” added Souquet.
First Round Results To Date
Germany 8 – 0 Hong Kong
Japan 8 – 6 Croatia
Italy 8 – 5 Austria
Finland 8 – 3 Sweden
Philippines B 8 – 3 Qatar
USA 8 – 7 Malta
Indonesia 8 – 3 India
Spain 8 – 3 Australia
China 8 – 5 Korea
France 8 – 1 Canada
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