In the first of the two game series between the two teams, Bulgaria emerged the winner 2-3 (21-25, 25-21, 22-25).
“I’m happy with the result, but maybe happier with the way both team played, said Camillo Placi Bulgaria’s coach.
The match begain slowly, Bulgaria getting a perfect start to the first set 25-1, until France’s head coach Laurent Tillie called on Julien Lyneel to replace Guillaume Quesque. The young player (23 years old) from Montpellier brought power and aggressiveness on the French side.
“(Julien Lyneel) was a good surprise,” Tillie said. “Julien proved that he can change a game by himself.”
France rushed to come back in the game as Les Bleus took the second and third sets (25/14, 25/21), but Bulgaria stayed alive to win the fourth set (25-22) to force France to play a tie-break.
In the decisive tie-break set, France had a terrible start (0-6) with too many mistakes in offense. Les Bleus rallied to stay in the game (8-8), but Bulgaria was too strong.
“We let them do seven aces in the fourth and fifth sets, it’s too much for a team like France, which is supposed to be solid in defense,” said Laurent Tillie.
Winning the first game on French soil is a good start for Bulgaria.
“I’m happy with the result, but maybe happier with the way both team played,” said Placi Camililo, Bulgaria’s head coach. “It was a very good game, with two very good players, Julien Lyneel on the French side, and Todor Aleksiev on our squad. Both were very successfull in offense, with 64 percent in attack, a very rare number .”
France and Bulgaria will meet again on Sunday, June 9 in Metz.
“We need to analyse our mistakes and to come back stronger ,” said France’s captain Benjamin Toniutti.
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