China reach knock-out stage of Snooker World Cup

Wuxi (China), June 20 (IANS) Hosts China reached the knock-out stage at the Snooker World Cup after beating Malta 3-2. China will face Scotland in the quarterfinals.

Ding Junhui and Xiao Guodong won all five matches in Group A, culminating in a 3-2 defeat of Malta on Friday. India’s Pankaj Advani and Aditya Mehta secured second spot with a 4-1 win over Singapore, reports Xinhua.

Belgium stormed into quarterfinals 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.

England were knocked out in dramatic circumstances, despite beating Ireland in their final group game.

Mark Selby and Stuart Bingham, the world’s top two players, beat Ireland 3-2, but finished third in Group D so missed out on a quarterfinal place. Thailand’ s Dechawat Poomjaeng and Thepchaiya Un-Nooh beat UAE 4-1 to finish level on points with England, and finished second having won the head-to-head match at the start of the week.

Thailand go through to meet Group C leaders Wales on Saturday, while group winners China B, comprising Zhou Yuelong and Yan Bingtao, will face Australia.

A jubilant Un-Nooh said: “It feels great because we’ ve never qualified for the second round before. This is a first for Thailand. I feel like we need to shout very loud. Now we have got this far, we are not scared of anything.”

Selby said: “We won four out of five games and still didn’t qualify. We had such a tough group.”

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