The tournament was opened by Lithuania and Gibraltar. With Darius Labanauskas, the current number 45 of the Order of Merit of the PDC, in the ranks, Lithuania was the favorite. Along with Mindaugas Barauskas they also made that happen by winning 5-3 over Gibraltar. The match was tense for a long time and went on until the end. Because Craig Galliano and Justin Hewitt on behalf of Gibraltar failed to score the brace in Game 8, the game’s first break was a fact. However, that immediately ended the game.
Start in style
Portugal have never played the Darts World Cup before. However, due to Singapore’s cancellation, Jose De Sousa & Jose Marques were allowed to defend their country’s colors and had to face Hungary, of which Patrik Kovacs and Janos Vegso appeared on the oche. The Portuguese did it in style, as they won convincingly with 5-0. The Hungarians did not get a single arrow on the brace in all five innings and therefore lost to De Sousa and Marques without a chance.
With New Zealand v Denmark, a break quickly came as Cody Harris and Haupai Puha quickly took a 3-0 lead against Per Laursen and Niels Heinsøe. With a break in the sack and knowing that there were only five innings to be won, it was clear to the New Zealanders that keeping their own leg twice was enough. It also went very well, because in all the stages started by New Zealand, the Danes were always far behind. A 5-2 loss was therefore inevitable for Laursen and Heinsøe. The score could have even been slightly higher, but a missed brace at 4-1 did not result in a second break.
Immediately a surprise
Northern Ireland started the tournament with the fourth seed. With Daryl Gurney seventh in the PDC Order of Merit and twenty-eight Brendan Dolan, they were all-time favorites against Jeff Smith and Matt Campbell’s Canada. However, it was the Canadians who had the best of the game from the start. Northern Ireland still managed to take the first leg with a nice 117 final, but most of the legs were late. The only stage in which Gurney and Dolan showed the initiative was crushed by Canada with a score of 1-1 with a result of 154. In the end, Smith and Campbell could easily end up with a 5-2 victory and with a very good average of over 94 they took care of the first stunt of the tournament.