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2010 FIVB Men's Volleyball World Championship

 Match info | Description
Bulgaria underline intent with Spain win

Vladimir Nikolov (11), Nikolay Nikolov (18) and Matey Kaziyski (6) of Bulgaria form a triple block against Spain's Iban Perez.
Florence, Italy, 4 October, 2010- Bulgaria offered a statement of their intent to reach the semifinals by beating Spain in four sets (25-21, 27-25, 26-28, 25-18) in the opening match of third round Pool Q in the FIVB Men's World Championship.

Bulgaria's Todor Aleksiev scored a match-high 18 points with 16 spikes and two blocks, while Matey Kaziyski turned in 17 points with 16 spikes and an ace. The Spanish scoring was led by Sergio Noda's 13 spikes and four blocks for 17 points, while teammate Iban Perez added 16 points with 14 spikes and two aces. Bulgaria held a 15-10 advantage in blocks, while Spain managed a 5-1 ace margin but committed 27 errors overall.

FIVB Men's World Championship 2010 official page

There was an even start to the first set at Florence's Nelson Mandela Forum. While Bulgaria were serving well, Julio Velasco's Spain team were looking good in defence. At the First Technical Timeout (FTT), Bulgaria held an 8-7 lead but Spain, a surprise package of this tournament, then produced a terrific ace from Perez. Teodor Salparov responded with two defensive blocks and Bulgaria moved 18-15 ahead. Silvano Prandi‚Äôs side duly ran away with the set, prevailing 25-21.

With Tsvetan Sokolov winning crucial points in both serving and attack, Bulgaria forced Velasco to call a timeout with Spain 10-4 down in the second set. The Spanish were struggling to match Bulgaria's impressive consistency yet Perez carried the fight to Prandi's men and, with some deft touches at key moments, allowed Spain to tie the score at 16-16. Now Bulgaria looked less comfortable and Prandi substituted Vladimir Nikolov for Sokolov with Spain leading. Bulgaria seized two important opportunities and tied the score at 22-22, however, and they kept their focus to close the set with a fabulous Kaziyski block.

Spain started the third set on the front foot and led 8-6 at the FTT. Bulgaria captain Vladimir Nikolov tried to get his side back on level terms but Guillermo Hernan, with a delightful touch, kept Spain ahead by 15-13. The contest was heating up now as the teams battled for every point. Bulgaria tied the scores at 23-23, but Spain, with a decisive counterattack, provided the perfect reply and closed the set at 28-26. Unfortunately for them, Velasco's men were unable to repeat the formula in the fourth set as Bulgaria took immediate control of the set. Spain made too many mistakes to be able to narrow the gap and Aleksiev closed the set at 25-18.

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