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Bulgaria shock Italy with tiebreaker victory

June 10, 2005 – Bulgaria, ranked 13th in the world, pulled off a stunning 3-2 (18-25, 31-29, 25-10, 20-25, 15-13) upset win over world number two and 2004 World League runner’s up Italy in Roseto d. Abruzziin on Friday opening the third round of the 2005 World League in sensational style.

The match, which lasted nearly two hours, was full of drama, excitement and outstanding play as both sides fought to the end in a tense five set thriller infront of over 5,000 screaming fans.
Pic: Bulgaria salut their fans after Friday's epic five set win over Italy
Italy were seeking the double from this weekend’s matches and it showed as they cruised to an easy first set win, but it was the second set which was the turning point in the match. Bulgaria eventually claimed it after 33 minutes to level the match and as Italian coach Gianpaolo Montali confirmed it was the turning of the game.

The second set was the crucial one,” Montali said. “What if we won that set? We are in a strange mood. We win, we lose. We must find some continuity. The team is a new one and we have to work on it.”

“I agree with Gianpaolo,” Bulgarian captain Palmen Kostantinov said. “We clinched (the second set) after a real battle. If we lost it, maybe the match would have been another story, but I am happy because we found some sort of continuity, which is a very important target for us.”

The win secures Bulgaria’s second from five matches and keeps them in contention for the final round while Italy will be desperate to win the second match on Sunday to keep their final round hopes intact.
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