Belgium Billiards Team Stuns World Cup of Pool
The Belgium billiard team has produced one of the biggest shocks of all time by defeating Taiwan in the 2007 World Cup of Pool. They beat Taiwan 8-6 to the delight of a packed, partisan crowd at the Outland Nightclub in Rotterdam, Holland.
The Belgian side of Noel Bruynooghe and Serge Das, ranked 46th and 60th in Europe respectively, defeated the Taiwanese side of 2005 World Champion Wu Chia-ching and Yang Ching-shun, a former World Championship semi-finalist.
Already this tournament there had been a number of shocks, including Germany losing to Singapore and USA going out to Switzerland but this victory eclipsed those performances and must be regarded as the greatest upset in World Cup history.
Taiwan, who were priced at 1-33 ON by bookmakers Stan James to win the encounter, won the lag comfortably and cruised into an early lead.
Bookmakers had written off Belgium as no-hopers in this match, although there was a large number of Belgian supporters in the audience hoping the so-called experts would be wrong.
The Belgian fans soon had something to cheer about as Wu scratched and the Europeans did the rest to make it 1-1.
Belgium ran through the third rack to lead 2-1 and it could have got even better for them but Das missed a 2-9 combination in the fourth after a fine positional shot from his partner Bruynooghe as Taiwan made the score level.
A missed orange five from Bruynooghe in the next helped Taiwan regain the lead and they then took full control.
They stepped on the gas and raced into a three-rack advantage, despite Wu scratching in the first of these three.
However, Belgium had shown they were no pushovers by thrashing Holland B 8-2 in the first round. They were putting up another fight by winning the next two to make the scoreline 5-4.
Bruynooghe produced one of the shots of the tournament to pot the 1-ball with the jump cue after the cue ball hurdled the 3-ball. But his team-mate Das then failed to sink the 2-ball and Taiwan moved two ahead at 6-4.
It did not last long as Yang scratched off the break and a 5-9 combination from Das brought them to within one once again at 5-6.
It became 6-6 after Wu undercut an attempt on the blue 2, while a stunning long 3 pot in the next took Belgium to the hill.
The clock ticked into the early hours of Saturday morning but no one was leaving as every successful shot from the Belgians received a large cheer by a crowd who were realising they were watching something very special.
Yang then messed up a safety attempt on the 1-ball and he had his head in his hands as he realised his side were only a few balls away from being eliminated.
Noel Bruynooghe sunk the decisive 9-ball as he and partner Serge Das leapt in delight as they had recorded one of the biggest shocks ever in world pool.