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Netherlands and Scotland remain in the hunt for World Cup of Darts glory

5 min read

Defending champions Netherlands remain on course to defend their World Cup of Darts title, but will there be a new winner crowned on Finals Day in Hamburg?

Netherlands are looking to win a third straight World Cup and they are the only former winners left in the competition, after top seeds England were beaten by an inspired Republic of Ireland side on Saturday evening.

Two-time finalists Scotland are the highest-ranked side remaining, while 2013 runners-up Belgium and three-time quarter-finalists Austria make up the seeded representatives.

There are four unseeded nations left standing, with Republic of Ireland, Canada, New Zealand and Japan all eyeing World Cup glory in what promises to be a pulsating double session of darts at the Barclaycard Arena.

The four quarter-finals get underway from 12pm, while the semi-finals and final follow in a bumper evening session.

The quarter-finals and semi-finals will be played as two best-of-seven-leg singles matches. In the event of both nations winning one singles match apiece, a best-of-seven-leg doubles match will be played to decide the tie.

However, the final will include singles matches and a doubles contest, with the nation first to three points crowned as the 2019 World Cup of Darts champions.

We run the rule over Finals Day in Hamburg….

New Zealand vs Japan

Cody Harris and Haupai Puha have led New Zealand to their best ever showing at a World Cup

Sunday’s quarter-finals begin with an intriguing clash between New Zealand and Japan – with both sides aiming to reach their first World Cup of Darts semi-final.

New Zealand are already in uncharted territory – wins over debutants Lithuania and South Africa have seen them reach the last eight for the first time in World Cup history.

Cody Harris starred for the Kiwis in their first-round tie, before Harris and his partner Haupai Puha defeated South African pair Devon Petersen and Vernon Bouwers 4-2 in a doubles decider.

Harris whitewashed Bouwers 4-0 in his singles rubber, before Petersen returned the favour with a ton-topping average to ease past Puha. However, Petersen was unable to lead his side to a third World Cup quarter-final.

Asada has played a starring role for Japan at this year's World Cup

Japan are appearing in the last eight for the second consecutive year, with Seigo Asada and Haruki Muramatsu forming a solid partnership.

Asada converted a nerveless 104 outshot as Japan edged out Gibraltar in the tournament’s curtain-raiser, which set up an all-Asian showdown against Singapore, who dumped out Wales in round one.

Asada defeated the evergreen Paul Lim 4-3 in the opening rubber, before World Cup ever-present Muramatsu battled past Harith Lim 4-2 to seal their progression in relatively serene style.

Scotland vs Belgium

Anderson and Wright are bidding to secure a first World Cup crown for Scotland

Scotland and Belgium collide in a battle of the former finalists, for the right to take on either New Zealand or Japan in the semi-finals.

Second seeds Scotland have breezed through to the quarter-finals for the loss of just two legs.

They whitewashed Denmark in the opening round with a 101.55 average, before sweeping aside Sweden with two convincing singles victories.

Gary Anderson whitewashed the retiring Magnus Caris, while Peter Wright battled past Dennis Nilsson 4-2 to maintain Scotland’s bid for a maiden World Cup crown.

Huybrechts and Van den Bergh are competing in their second World Cup as a pairing

However, they’ll face a tough task in the shape of seventh seeds Belgium, who are remarkably aiming to reach their fifth successive World Cup semi-final.

Kim Huybrechts and Dimitri van den Bergh eased past Hong Kong 5-1 in round one, before cruising past hosts Germany in the second round.

Max Hopp and Martin Schindler were eyeing a third successive World Cup quarter-final but the 2013 finalists silenced the partisan home crowd in Hamburg.

Huybrechts survived match darts to edge out Schindler in the opening tie, before Van den Bergh thrashed a below-par Hopp 4-0 to wrap up a comprehensive win.

Republic of Ireland vs Austria

William O'Connor produced a remarkable display to help Republic of Ireland knock England out of the World Cup of Darts

Republic of Ireland and Austria both have the opportunity to reach the World Cup semi-finals for the first time since the tournament’s inception in 2010.

Republic of Ireland had never gone beyond the second-round stage – losing six times in the last 16. However, they made history with a stunning 2-0 victory over top seeds England on Saturday.

Steve Lennon edged out Michael Smith in a dramatic deciding leg to give Ireland the initiative, before William O’Connor produced an extraordinary performance to thrash Rob Cross 4-1.

Cross averaged over 106 but was rendered helpless against an inspired O’Connor, who won his first Players Championship title last month. ‘The Magpie’ averaged 115.10 en route to victory – the highest of the competition thus far.

Mensur Suljovic will be aiming to lead Austria to a first World Cup semi-final

Mensur Suljovic also produced a star-studded display as he led Austria to their third World Cup quarter-final in the space of four years.

The eighth seeds survived a scare as they fought back from 3-1 down to defeat Russia in their opener, but they progressed in emphatic style against USA, dropping the solitary leg.

Zoran Lerchbacher gave Austria the early advantage courtesy of a hard-fought win over Darin Young, before Suljovic posted a magnificent 113.43 average to dispatch Chuck Puleo with legs of 12, 15, 12 and 14 darts.

Netherlands vs Canada

Michael van Gerwen is looking to win his fourth World Cup title

Netherlands remain on course to win a third successive World Cup of Darts title following convincing wins over Spain and Poland, which sets up a quarter-final showdown against Canada.

There was some uncertainty about how the four-time winners would fare, with Jermaine Wattimena replacing five-time world champion Raymond van Barneveld, but Wattimena has impressed throughout.

Netherlands were rarely troubled against a capable Poland side. Michael van Gerwen survived a minor scare to defeat Krzysztof Ratajski 4-2, before Wattimena breezed past Tytus Kanik 4-1 in a quickfire contest.

They are bidding to win a record fifth World Cup title and England’s surprise exit means the winners of this tie will face Republic of Ireland or Austria for a place in this year’s final.

It's been a dream World Cup debut for Canada's Jim Long

Canada are without three-time world champion John Part for the first time in World Cup history but Dawson Murschell and Jim Long have performed with aplomb to equal their country’s best showing at this tournament.

Following their high-quality, first-round win over Italy, the 2016 quarter-finalists recorded a shock 2-0 win over fifth seeds Australia.

Murschell took out finishes of 109, 89 and 97 to defeat Simon Whitlock in a last-leg shootout, while Long capitalised on an under-par display from Kyle Anderson to record a 4-2 win over ‘The Original’.

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