Hong Kong Reach World Cup Quarters
Hong Kong dramatically clinched their place in the quarter-finals of the Beverly World Cup in Wuxi, coming through a crunch tie with Iran 3-2.
Both sides came into this evening’s showdown knowing a win would be likely to ensure second place in group D, with England occupying poll position in the group.
Hong Kong’s world number 121 Andy Lee and amateur Ka Wai Cheung were outsiders in a tough group. However, a surprise 4-1 win over Republic of Ireland in the penultimate game put them in the mix going into the final round of matches.
Iran won the opening frame today, before a break of 50 from Cheung restored parity. Hong Kong then came out on top in a tense 45-minute doubles frame to lead 2-1.
Former China Open semi-finalist Hossein Vafaei set up a deciding frame for Iran. However, Lee held his nerve to secure the momentous victory for Hong Kong, who will now face China A in tomorrow’s quarter-finals.
England’s Kyren Wilson and Jack Lisowski needed to win just one frame to progress and they did so by beating Northern Ireland 3-2. England will face Thailand in the last eight.
Northern Ireland went out having required a whitewash victory to stand a chance of progressing. Republic of Ireland would have also needed a clean sweep of frames, but were eliminated after a 3-2 win over Saudi Arabia.
Wales emerged from group D with a 100% record after they recorded their fifth straight victory with a 4-1 win over China B.
Both teams had already secured their progression to the quarter-finals with their performances thus far. However, today’s match was decisive in determining which side topped the group.
The Welsh duo of three-time World Champion Mark Williams and two-time ranking event winner Ryan Day amassed the most points of any team in the group stages, winning 21 of the 25 frames. Wales will now face Scotland in the quarter-finals, while China B will be up against Belgium.