TEAM USA 5–5 TEAM EUROPE
Shane van Boening 1–5 Joshua Filler
Van Boening/Bergman 5-1 Shaw/Filler
Tyler Styer 1-5 Eklent Kaci
Thorpe/Woodward 5-1 Feijen/Kazakis
Shane Van Boening 5-1 Alexander Kazakis
The 26th partypoker Mosconi Cup is all-square at 5-5 between Team USA and Team Europe after the second day of play at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino Convention Center, Las Vegas, live on Sky Sports and DAZN.
USA won the day 3-2 to tie the tournament, with the first team to reach 11 points to take home the trophy. Despite how close the overall score is, many of the matches haven’t followed suit. Only one went hill-hill on the opening day and all five ended 5-1 on day two.
Shane van Boening was scheduled to play two singles and a doubles on Tuesday, but lost his first match to Germany’s Joshua Filler. The South Dakota Kid then paired with Justin Bergman to beat Filler and Jayson Shaw in doubles before Tyler Styer fell to Albania’s Eklent Kaci.
USA took the final two points of the day as Billy Thorpe and Skyler Woodward teamed up to defeat Niels Feijen and Alexander Kazakis before Van Boening, who had opened the day, returned to face Kazakis in the afternoon’s closing match. The home crowd were full of hope that their star man would level the tournament at 5-5 and they weren’t disappointed.
“We wanted to make sure we got it as close as we could and I am glad we got it to 5-5,” said Van Boening as the American half of the crowd chanted ‘S-V-B’.
“I have been playing the Mosconi Cup for 13 years and it is really tough to play in this atmosphere, but these guys are doing a great job for us. They depend on us but we are depending on them too.”
The day opened with the Fans’ Choice match. Over 10,000 votes were cast online and the result pitted Van Boening against Filler; a blockbuster.
Van Boening won the lag but scratched on the break and didn’t return to the table until his next break. By that point he was 2-0 down to the World Champion, who still hadn’t missed a ball in the tournament.
The South Dakota Kid didn’t have a shot on the 1 from his next break so pushed out. Filler invited Van Boening to play and his subsequent shot left the 1 visible for the German, who executed a fine safety shot. From that, Van Boening left Filler a straight-forward cut and from there it was a roadmap to 3-0.
Van Boening looked set to get on the board when Filler broke dry on the fourth. It wasn’t an easy clearance for the American but he shrugged off the pressure and was left with a simple 9 from almost on it’s spot to the corner, but it rattled the jaw and a gasping home crowd had to watch on as Filler made it 4-0. The fifth rack did belong to Van Boening but it wasn’t enough as Filler soon completed his assertive 5-1 win.
USA fired back in style in the day’s second match. Van Boening held his nerve early as he made a tricky 9 to banish the ghosts of the previous match to give him and Bergman a 2-1 lead over Filler and Shaw. They ran the next rack and moved to the hill at 4-1 before closing out the point in the sixth as Van Boening urged on the loud US crowd.
“That is a great match to win,” said Van Boening. “They had Filler back-to-back and we had to stop him.”
Bergman added: “That’s a huge point. We could have been down 5-2 so we had to win that. We have Shane out three times today and nobody wants to play against him, nobody.”
Europe’s two-point advantage was soon restored though as Kaci put in one of the performances of the tournament so far to beat Styer 5-1, continuing his side’s perfect singles record. It was a poignant victory for the Albanian after a deadly earthquake hit his home nation in the early hours of Tuesday.
“Every match is important but this was a good win because it could have been 4-4 but instead we lead 5-3,” said Kaci. “I have all of my family in Albania and in the last 24 hours there has been a big earthquake and a lot of aftershocks, some of them big ones. Many buildings have been destroyed, many people have died, many people are injured and many have not yet been found. I am grateful to be here but I am praying for all of Albania and especially my family, I am glad they are ok.”
Kazakis won the lag in the day’s final match and took out the first rack. It should have been two after a Van Boening scratch on the break, but the Greek missed a straight down-table 6 and the match was level. From there, Van Boening didn’t look back and dominated the match for a 5-1 victory to tie the partypoker Mosconi Cup at 5-5, setting up the final two days for what could become one of the best Cups in its 26-year history. Play continues at 11am PT on Wednesday with five more matches.
The 2019 partypoker Mosconi Cup is partnered by Rasson Billiards who supplies the Official Table; the cloth is supplied by Iwan Simonis and Saluc is the Official Ball Provider. Predator is the Official Cue of the event, Kamui the Official Chalk and Tip and Ultimate Team Gear provide all partypoker Mosconi Cup apparel. CSI is the official sponsor of Team USA and Just Eat sponsor Team Europe.