Australian duo Simon Whitlock and Damon Heta paid tribute to Kyle Anderson after whitewashing Italy’s Danilo Vigato and Michele Turetta.
Whitlock had competed alongside Anderson in four World Cups, while Heta grew up in Perth with the former Auckland Darts Masters champion, who passed away last month.
The Australians are bidding to go one better than in 2012, when they were runners-up in the World Cup, and are aiming to use Anderson as an inspiration at the Sparkassen Arena this weekend.
They denied the Italian debutants a dart at a double in the tie, finishing with a flourish with legs of 13 and 14 darts to end the contest with a 93 average.
“I’m very emotional,” admitted Whitlock. “We’re not just playing for Australia, we’re playing for Kyle as well.
“It means the world to me and Damo. We’ve got our hearts on our sleeves and Kyle’s name on our sleeves. The atmosphere when the crowd were singing Kyle’s name was amazing.
“We’re thinking about Kyle with every single dart we throw and this is the one we really want. We’re focused on winning, not just for Australia but for Kyle.”
The Australians will now meet America after Danny Lauby and Chuck Puleo produced a strong performance to sweep aside Sweden’s Daniel Larsson and Johan