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Men's World Championship 2002 - Press Info

Match Descriptive

France beat Bulgaria 3-2 (25-23, 22-25, 25-22, 17-25, 17-15) - duration 2:06
01-Oct, start time: 18:10, end time: 20:16 - Attendance: 2,730
France surprising Pool C winner after thrilling five sets victory over Bulgaria
After defeating Bulgaria in five thrilling sets, France won his third consecutive match in Pool C of the 2002 Men's World Championship and obtained the first position of this preliminary group. On Friday the French team will start the second round in Santa Fe, while Bulgaria will remain in Buenos Aires as the participant of another second round group.
France started the match more concentrated than Bulgaria and reached thanks to five points of Laurent Capet the first technical time out leading 8-6. Due to the low performance in reception 37%, Bulgarian coach Assen Galabinov requested a time out. France increased the difference (16-12). Bulgaria improved in the block and equaled the score helped by eight points of Vladimir Nikolov. In spite of that, France won the first set.
In the second set, France began more solid and took advantage of four unforced errors of their rivals. But with the substitution of Ivaylo Stefanov, who was replaced by Georgi Valov, Bulgaria improved their reception to 80%. With eight blocks, Bulgaria equaled the match 1-1.
In the third set, Bulgariac was up 12-7, helped by five unforced errors of France. Philippe Blain's team showed an 100% effectiveness in reception, plus an excellent performance of spikers Dominique Daquin and Stéphane Antiga (five points each) was enough to get the third set.
In the fourth set, Bulgaria took benefit of some bad French reception. Vladimir Nikolov's seven attacks increased the gap and the Bulgarians recovery remained until the end of the set.
The fifth set tiebreaker had to bring the decision. France started the last set well and was leading by four points. Evgeni Ivanov helped his team with two attacks and two blocks to come back in the set. Both teams played an emotional end, but finally France won and reached the first position of Pool C.
The French Captain Dominique Daquin said: "We were lucky to win the match. We are happy not to face Argentina in the next round."
Vladimir Nikolov was the best scorer of the match with 29 points.
/ajm