CHINESE TAIPEI CAUSE SENSATIONAL SHOCK IN FRANKFURT

Chinese Taipei caused a sensation on Day Two at the BetVictor World Cup of Darts, dumping out former finalists Republic of Ireland to progress to the last 16 in Frankfurt.
Big-stage newcomers Chinese Taipei – represented by Teng-Lieh Pupo and An-Sheng Lu – produced two superb displays in Group E, which culminated with a deciding-leg victory over the 2019 runners-up.
The World Cup of Darts debutants had kicked off their campaign with a hard-fought 4-2 victory against Lithuania on Friday afternoon, before pulling off an enormous upset to stun William O’Connor and Keane Barry.
An-Sheng Lu was the star of the show, averaging 107 individually and converting a stunning 132 checkout in a compelling encounter, although it was Teng-Lieh Pupo who pinned double six in the decider to cap off a famous victory.
“It’s very exciting, we are making history,” reflected Pupo, who heaped praise on his partner’s inspired performance.
“That 132 finish was incredible. If he didn’t hit that we would maybe lose the game, but he is a fantastic player, and we are so happy.”
Friday’s marathon double session saw the Group Stage of the 40-nation event reach a dramatic climax, as the remaining 24 round-robin matches took place at the Eissporthalle.
Martin Schindler and Gabriel Clemens delivered the goods for hosts Germany, who completed a clean sweep in Group C with a comprehensive 4-1 success against 2013 semi-finalists Finland.
Clemens was forced to produce a stunning 124 skin-saver on the bull to defeat a superb New Zealand side on Thursday’s opening night, which caused the Kiwis to bow out despite their whitewash win over Finland.
Australian duo Damon Heta and Simon Whitlock came through another gruelling affair to preserve their title hopes, defying a superb individual display from Hong Kong’s Man Lok Leung to close out a 4-2 triumph.
Hong Kong dispatched Japan in their Group D opener on Friday afternoon to set up the winner-takes-all showdown, but a 122 checkout from Whitlock followed by a 107 kill from Heta proved decisive for the 2022 champions.
Elsewhere, fifth seeds Belgium breezed through Group A with a whitewash win over the Philippines, as Dimitri Van den Bergh and Kim Huybrechts averaged over 95 to maintain their bright start to the event for the 2013 finalists.
Josh Rock and Brendan Dolan navigated sixth seeds Northern Ireland through Group B, despite Swiss star Bruno Stöckli producing a sensational 170 checkout to send their contest to a last-leg decider.
2021 runners-up Austria – led by Rowby-John Rodriguez and Mensur Suljovic – stormed through to round two in resounding style, following up Thursday’s whitewash over China with a 4-1 thrashing of Guyana in Group F.
2023 quarter-finalists Sweden and France also clinched their places in Saturday’s second round, after securing top spot in Groups K and J respectively.
BetVictor World Cup of Darts 2024
Following Jeffrey de Graaf’s opening night heroics, Sweden brushed aside Gibraltar 4-1 in a straight shoot-out for qualification, while Thibault Tricole and Jacques Labre steered France to a narrow victory over Denmark.
Croatian trailblazer Boris Krcmar produced a clinical display on the outer ring as he and Romeo Grbavac won their Group I decider against Canada, who were led by recent North American Championship winner Matt Campbell.
They will be joined in the last 16 by Poland’s Krzysztof Ratajski and Radek Szaganski, who ran out convincing 4-1 winners against Hungary to maintain their 100% record in Group G.
Czechia will feature in the knockout stages for the first time, as Karel Sedlacek and Adam Gawlas followed up their narrow victory over Bahrain with a comprehensive four-leg blitz of Iceland on Friday evening.
Italian duo Michele Turetta and Massimo Dalla Rosa also broke new ground at the Eissporthalle, firing in a 12-darter to defeat Portugal 4-3 and claim top spot in Group L, having dumped out USA earlier in the day.
The draw for the last 16 was made following the completion of Friday evening’s action, and reigning champions Wales will begin their title defence against Croatia on Saturday evening.
Top seeds England – led by debutant and World Champion Luke Humphries – will play France for a place in the last eight, with four-time winners Netherlands up against Belgium in a blockbuster tussle.
Hosts Germany face Northern Ireland in another compelling contest, two-time winners Scotland play Poland, while 2022 champions Australia take on Italy.
Chinese Taipei will continue their breakthrough campaign against 2021 finalists Austria, with Czechia and Sweden also set to battle it out for a quarter-final berth.
Following Saturday’s second round, the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final will then take place during a bumper double session on Sunday, as the remaining eight nations compete for the coveted title at the Eissporthalle.
The BetVictor World Cup of Darts is being broadcast on Sky Sports for viewers in the UK & Ireland, through the PDC’s international broadcast partners, including DAZN and Viaplay, and on PDCTV for Rest of the World Subscribers.
2024 BetVictor World Cup of Darts
Friday June 28
Afternoon Session
Group Stage – Second Matches x12
Loser First Match v Team 3
Gibraltar 4-3 Spain (K)
Iceland 4-0 Bahrain (H)
Latvia 4-2 Denmark (J)
Canada 4-3 Malaysia (I)
Chinese Taipei 4-2 Lithuania (E)
Norway 4-3 Hungary (G)
Italy 4-2 USA (L)
Philippines 4-1 Singapore (A)
South Africa 4-2 Switzerland (B)
New Zealand 4-0 Finland (C)
Hong Kong 4-1 Japan (D)
China 4-2 Guyana (F)
Evening Session
Group Stage – Final Matches x12
Winner First Match v Team 3
Sweden 4-1 Gibraltar (K) – Sweden Qualify
Czechia 4-0 Iceland (H) – Czechia Qualify
France 4-3 Denmark (J) – France Qualify
Croatia 4-2 Canada (I) – Croatia Qualify
Chinese Taipei 4-3 Republic of Ireland (E) – Chinese Taipei Qualify
Poland 4-1 Hungary (G) – Poland Qualify
Italy 4-3 Portugal (L) – Italy Qualify
Belgium 4-0 Philippines (A) – Belgium Qualify
Northern Ireland 4-3 Switzerland (B) – Northern Ireland Qualify
Germany 4-1 Finland (C) – Germany Qualify
Australia 4-2 Hong Kong (D) – Australia Qualify
Austria 4-1 Guyana (F) – Austria Qualify
Draw Bracket – Second Round onwards
(1) England v France
Northern Ireland v Germany
(4) Scotland v Poland
Czechia v Sweden
(2) Wales v Croatia
Austria v Chinese Taipei
(3) Netherlands v Belgium
Italy v Australia
Saturday June 29
Afternoon Session (1300 local time, 1200 BST)
Second Round x4
Czechia v Sweden
Austria v Chinese Taipei
Scotland v Poland
Italy v Australia
Best of 15 legs
Evening Session (1900 local time, 1800 BST)
Second Round x4
Northern Ireland v Germany
England v France
Wales v Croatia
Netherlands v Belgium
Best of 15 legs
Photos credit Jonas Hunold/PDC Europe

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