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Men's World Championship 2002 - Press Info

Match Descriptive

Bulgaria beat Russia 3-0 (28-26, 25-19, 25-23) - duration 1:20
29-Sep, start time: 20:40, end time: 22:00 - Attendance: 3,110
Bulgaria upset World League champion Russia.
Bulgaria completely surprised Russia in the second match of the Pool C and got its first two points by defeating the World League champion. Together with France, Bulgaria is the leader of this Pool now, while title favorite Russia is still without a set. On Monday, Bulgaria will play against Tunisia, while Russia faces France.
The beginning of the match was equal for both teams. At the first technical time out the Bulgarians were leading the score 16-13 thanks to the attacks of Vladimir Nikolov and Plamen Konstantinov with three points each. Russia improved in reception, but the Bulgarians took advantage of six back row attacks and won the first set after a thrilling end (28-26).
Bulgaria started the second set winning with 5 consecutive points and Guennadi Chipouline, the Russian coach, asked for a time out. Bulgarian's block was effective and the Bulgarian advantage became bigger and bigger (23-17). Finally, with five points of Nikolov the team coached by former international player Assen Galabinov won the set.
In the last set Bulgaria kept dominating the game thanks to the excellent performance of the spiker Nikolov. The match equaled as a result of the five successfully attacks of the Russian opposite attacker Roman Iakovlev, but finally Bulgaria knew how to manage their rivals and maintain the difference to win the match.
"We have a young team, but we want to reach the quarterfinals. With a little luck we will make it," Konstantinov said.
Coach Galabinov was extremely happy with the victory. "It is important to start a tournament well, but it is even more important how you finish the event."
Vladimir Nikolov was the best scorer of the match with 20 points, followed by his teammate Plamen Konstantinov (10 points).
/ajm