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Bulgaria deal Russia first defeat of World League

Bulgaria are now within a whisker of qualifying for the Final Round in Poland
Varna, Bulgaria, June 30, 2011 – Bulgaria kept their dreams of a 2011 FIVB Volleyball World League Final Round spot alive on Thursday as they dealt Russia their first defeat of the tournament so far with a 3-1 (25-22, 18-25, 30-28, 25-20) victory in a stunning win in front of their home fans in Varna.

Almost 6,000 people including Bulgaria President Georgi Parvanov, Sports Minister Svilen Neykov, Military Minister Anyu Anev, Commander of the Bulgarian Navy Rear Admiral Plamen Manushev watched the side put on their best performance of the tournament so far and capitalize on Russian mistakes to seal a historic win.

A flying start for Bulgaria caught the visiting Russians by surprise as the hosts took the early lead in the first set. With Matey Kaziyski back in shape and setter Andrey Zhekov providing great support the home side took the advantage at 1-0.

Russia coach Vladimir Alekno tightened his defence in the second and his team took a quick five point advantage. They managed to hold onto the lead until the end to draw level at 1-1.

Bulgaria managed to settle in the third and took advantage of Russian mistakes. The hosts continued to pile the pressure on as Russia buckled and allowed the home side to again take the lead at 2-1.

Matey Kaziyski was again on form as he led his side in the fourth while Russia continued to struggle. A quick spike saw the hosts close the set and the match to leave Russia with some serious questions to answer.
 
The two sides will clash again at 20:00 GMT tomorrow with Bulgaria just one win away from a ticket to Poland and the Final Round.

  

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