Apeldoorn, the Netherlands, June 19, 2010 - The Netherlands lost their first home match of the 2010 FIVB World League on Saturday as Bulgaria overcame them 3-0(25-19, 25-22, 25-23) in Apeldoorn.
Both the Netherlands and Bulgaria have now won three and lost two matches and the win sees Bulgaria climb to second place in Pool A as the Netherlands drop to third.
The two sides were equal in the first phase of the opening set before Bulgaria pulled ahead 14-16. Dutch coach Peter Blangé called a time out at 19-16 but good blocking on the Bulgarian side saw them pick up the first set.
Bulgaria opened the second set with a number of strong spikes before Dutch captain Rob Bontje was substituted for Lars Lorsheijd to help reinforce the block. The home team managed to reduce the gap to one point but an exciting closing phase saw Bulgarian Todor Aleksiev with another unstoppable spike.
The home side opened the third set well, taking an early lead. However despite a number of errors from Bulgaria, the Netherlands failed to take full advantage and the visitors evened the scores at 20-all. However the Bulgarian attack rallied to secure a 25-23 win, and with that, the match.
"I saw a team that was fighting against themselves instead of against the opponents," Dutch captain Rob Bontje said. "And then winning a game becomes very difficult."
The two sides will meet again tomorrow at 3pm in the second match.