Luca Brecel has been one of the star performers so far in Wuxi
Belgium stormed into the quarter-finals of the Nongfu Spring World Cup with a 3-2 victory over Scotland, meaning they have won all five of their group games.
Rising star Luca Brecel and amateur Tomasz Skalski topped Group B and will now face India in the last eight. Scotland finished second to earn a match with China A.
World number 44 Brecel said: “It’s fantastic to beat Scotland and to win all five group games. It’s a different pressure here. I missed a frame-ball red today, which I would never usually miss if I was just playing for myself. We have reached our goal now in getting to the quarter-finals so we will be more relaxed.”
Skalski added: “It gives me a lot of confidence to play with Luca because I know he’s going to win his frames. I have played above my level in most of the matches.”
Scotland’s defeat meant their fate rested in Brazil’s hands, but John Higgins and Stephen Maguire were relieved to see that Brazil had lost 5-0 to Hong Kong.
“We’re lucky to get through because we had to rely on Hong Kong,” admitted four-time World Champion Higgins. “It will be a very difficult against China tomorrow.”
Ding Junhui and Xiao Guodong of host nation China also won all five matches in Group A, culminating in a 3-2 defeat of Malta today. India’s Pankaj Advani and Aditya Mehta secured second spot with a 4-1 win over Singapore.
Advani said: “When we saw the draw we felt we had a good chance to qualify, so I’m glad we’ve lived up to that expectation. Aditya has played better than me so far but there is no ego between us, we work as a team and I just need to pull up my socks.
“We are discussing the games, sharing ideas and giving each other confidence. Now we’re at the business end of the tournament, representing India, and this is what we play for.”