England Makes a Point Over Egypt in Boston
BOSTON – September 8, 2013 – Down 0-2 in matches at the break, the heart and soul of current England squash Nick Matthew and James Willstrop rallied past Amr Shabana and Mohamed Elshorbagy of Egypt in the second half to win Showdown at Symphony IV in Boston by one point.
Every match went the distance in the shortened game format of the 4th annual World Champions Challenge on the McWIL all-glass Show Court in Boston’s venerable Symphony Hall.
Shabana thrilled the 700+ attendees with a one-point shootout tiebreaker victory over James Willstrop, earning the match 2-1 (11/9, 10/11, 1/0 in 19 mins). Elshorbagy followed with a tremendous effort against Matthew resulting in another 2-1 victory for Egypt (11/5, 8/11, 3/2 in 31 mins) and a two match to zero halftime lead for the defending champions.
But Willstrop came alive in the third match of the evening, beating Elshorbagy by one point in their shootout tiebreaking third game (9/11, 11/10, 3/2 in 24 mins), leaving 2-time World Champion Matthew to face 4-time World Champion Shabana in the decider.
Matthew took game one, 11-5, but Shabana fought back to take game two, 11-10. With the mini-World Cup on the line, Matthew called “3” and won the shootout tiebreaker 3 points to 2 (20 mins), incredibly tying the competition in matches, tying the match in games won/lost and winning the Sharif Khan Trophy for England by a single point 85-84.
Tournament Chairman John Nimick said, “Squash put its best foot forward before a packed audience in a great venue and with four of the world’s squash superstars. With the sport’s eyes on Buenos Aires today and the IOC vote on new sports, Showdown IV was an exciting presentation of the sport’s best qualities; great athletes and ambassadors, amazing sport and the ability to showcase historic and iconic venues.”
Photos by Seth Packard