Ancona, Italy, October 1, 2010 – Bulgaria eliminated Poland from the FIVB Men's World Championship on Friday evening with a straight-sets win over their second round Pool N rivals.
Silvano Prandi's men recorded a 25-22, 25-18, 25-17 victory over the Poles in front of 2,800 fans at the Palarossini. In the process they assured themselves a place in the next round while forcing Poland out of the tournament with their second loss of the second round.
Bulgaria's attacking figures were impressive, with 57 per cent of their attacks converted into points. Vladimir Nikolov scored 22 points and Matey Kaziyski added 14 in the victory. Bulgaria held a 12-2 block advantage and a 6-2 margin in service aces. Poland's leading scorer was Piotr Gruszka with 10 points.
After an even opening, Bulgaria reached the First Technical Timeout (FTT) on top (8-7) thanks to the first block of the match by Nikolov. They widened the gap to 16-13 before Poland, after struggling to keep up, rallied with an ace by Piotr Nowakowski (22-21). However, a spectacular block from Kaziyski decided the set in Bulgaria's favour, with Nikolov having provided 10 points.
A Nikolov ace gave Bulgaria a 6-4 lead at the start of the second set. At 13-9 down, Poland head coach Daniel Castellani called a timeout, but two winning serves from Kaziyski extended Bulgaria's advantage to 16-10. Poland were struggling with their receiving game as Bulgaria's extraordinarily effective attack dominated. Gruszka cancelled out three set-balls, but a block by Nikolov closed the set at 25-18.
It was neck and neck in the third set as Gruzska and his team-mates showed renewed determination. But Bulgaria delivered a swift counterattack to gain a 16-10 lead. It seemed now that there was only one team on the court and Castellani could find no solution for his Poland side before Todor Aleksiev closed with the first match ball at 25-17.