EUROPE RAMPANT AND CLOSE IN ON DOUBLE OVER THE USA
Team Europe 9-5 Team USA
Jayson Shaw 5-2 Chris Reinhold
Shaw/Filler 5-2 Woodward/Styer
Eklent Kaçi 5-3 Shane Van Boening
Ouschan/Alcaide 5-1 Van Boening/Styer
David Alcaide 5-4 Jeremy Jones
Team Europe put in a dominant display to thump the USA 5-0 on the third day of 2021 Cazoo Mosconi Cup to take a 9-5 lead going into the final day of action at Alexandra Palace, London, and only two away from retaining the title.
Jayson Shaw kept up his 100% record in singles action by dispatching the USA’s Chris Reinhold 5-2 to open the session. A break and run in the first rack set the tone of the match as the Eagle Eye started to build up steam and pull Europe back level at 5-5.
Shaw came into the 2021 Cazoo Mosconi Cup as the 2020 Predator MVP and the Scotsman joined forces with Joshua Filler for the first doubles match of the evening against the USA’s two stars of day two in Skyler Woodward and Tyler Styer. Shaw and Filler have become a formidable duo over the years as a doubles pairing and it was no different as they ran out 5-2 winners to put Europe back in the lead. Styer struggled at times as Filler went on to break in the last rack as Europe ran the rack to take control of the cup.
Eklent Kaçi delivered a huge European point against Shane Van Boening coming from 3-1 down to defeat the USA vice 5-3. The Albanian scratched in the fifth rack but within a few shots he was back at the table in what was ultimately the tide turning in the contest as Van Boening left the five hanging in the pocket gifting Kaçi his second rack. Van Boening got his angles wrong in the following rack with only three balls left on the table scratching as he cut the seven ball in for Kaçi to pull level. From there, Kaçi, playing in his fourth Mosconi Cup, won the next two racks to seal victory with a fluke 3 9 combo in the last rack.
Van Boening’s luck on day three was summed up in the opening rack of his doubles encounter with Styer against Albin Ouschan and David Alcaide as he played the six ball down the rail only for it to rattle back and put the USA 1-0 down. The fans had yet to see much of World Champion Ouschan and Alcaide, but they put on the performance of all performances clearing up for a 5-1 win and put Europe 8-5 up and three away from the title.
2019 World Pool Masters Champion Alcaide completed the whitewash session for Europe against the USA’s captain Jeremy Jones to wrap up the evening in dramatic fashion. Jones led Alcaide at 4-3 when the Spaniard forced a final rack which is when one of the racks of a generation unfolded. Jones and Alcaide were locked in an intense safety battle with the experience of one pocket and three-cushion on strong display from both players when a fatal error was made by Jones. The American had already used his extension earlier in the rack when with only four balls left on the table, he asked for the cue ball to be cleaned, only to run out of time and give Alcaide ball in hand to secure Europe’s 5-0 session win.
“The first two days were rough. We got schooled. They showed us how to play smart and how to play with heart, so we had two reality checks on day one and that wasn’t enough. On day two, we got away with it by winning the last match. From there, we took over momentum, we are very relieved and very proud,” said Alex Lely, Europe’s captain.
“The commitment and not taking anything for granted. There was a realisation that the Mosconi Cup is a different atmosphere. It’s about bottle, heart, and courage and doing it when you’re out there and being ready to get out in the arena. And if you’re not ready, everyone can get caught by the pressure.”
“I was lying awake until 5 am, which doesn’t usually happen, I had so many things to think about and maybe some things I started out telling the guys this morning I felt like I had made a mistake. I spoke out about some things where I felt we lacked and where I felt America was showing us how to do it. I said all that. I said listen, if we talk about going to war, if you really go to war, you look into each other’s eyes, Karl and I left the room and we expected them to talk. That helped. They spoke amongst each other; the leadership is now inside the group and not outside it.”
“It was a beautiful rack. There was a lot to learn in just that one rack. JJ has been around the block a couple of times; he made some great shots but Alcaide responded brilliantly.”
“I want them to be clinical and disciplined and get the job done.”
The 2021 Cazoo Mosconi Cup is Pool’s biggest rivalry as Europe and the USA meet over four days in a race to 11 points broadcast live on Sky Sports in the UK and networks worldwide including DAZN in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, USA, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Spain, and Viaplay in Scandinavia, the Baltics, and Poland. Final day begins at 6 pm UK time tomorrow. Find out where to watch in your country here.
The 2021 Cazoo Mosconi Cup is partnered by Rasson Billiards who supplies the Official Table; the cloth is supplied by Iwan Simonis and Aramith is the Official Ball Provider. Predator is the Official Cue of the event, Kamui the Official Chalk and Tip, and Onboard Sportwear provide all Mosconi Cup apparel. Cazoo is the official title sponsor of the 2021 Cazoo Mosconi Cup.