World Cup 2019 – Onto the Final Day

The semi finals tomorrow afternoon in Wuxi will be: China A v Scotland and England v China B. The presence of China B at this stage is probably the only surprise, and it’s not a big surprise really.

The Scotland v Wales contest duly went to a decider. I can’t really comment on the match as I didn’t see a ball of it. From feedback on social media it was a good match.

Indeed I was watching Belgium v China B. I expected Belgium to win this, given how both teams had played so far, but not so. It came to two factors: Ben Mertens – who had been remarkably solid throughout the competition – had a lesser day AND Zhou Yuelong played very well in all departments. Form is not a tap that players can turn on at will; Ben will be disappointed but it’s part of being a sportperson.

China A beat Hong Kong by 4-0, and, again, I can’t comment having not watched the match. It was clear though that Hong Kong was the weakest team remaining in the draw, so this was to be expected to an extend.

England beat Thailand in an entertaining match. It was extremely close from start to finish, good quality overall, but it was also crazy and the Thai will feel a bit aggrieved because England benefitted from two huge flukes at crucial moments. It’s part of the game of course.

So here is what I expect for the semi-finals:

Scotland to beat China A in a decider. Yan Bingtao is still not playing at his best level, although he has shown a lot of resilience and will to win. There is pressure on the China A team from the start, but it will only increase in the final stages.

England to beat China B … unless Liang Wenbo finds his best form. Zhou has been excellent but he can’t do it alone.

Here are some of the most interesting moments of the QF day:

MissingClip 2019 World Cup: Wales (Ryan Day) – Scotland (Stephen Maguire) (final frame)

MissingClip 2019 World Cup: England (Kyren Wilson) – Thailand (Noppon Saengkham) (respotted black battle)

MissingClip 2019 World Cup: England (Kyren Wilson-Jack Lisowski) – Thailand (Thepchaiya Un-Nooh-Noppon Saengkham) (frame 6)

MissingClip 2019 World Cup: England (Jack Lisowski) – Thailand (Thepchaiya Un-Nooh) (final frame)