FIVB - Volleyball World League

Press release

Bulgaria clinch Pool A with Argentina scalp

Tsvetan Sokolov and DJ Teddy Georgo brought smiles to the faces of the Bulgarian fans

Sofia, Bulgaria, June 23, 2013 -Another fantastic performance for Bulgarian men's team refreshed the rainy Sunday in Sofia for more than 13,000 fans in the Arena Armeec.

The Balkan Lions managed to survive a shocking first-set loss to Argentina and finished the game 3-1 (17-25, 25-19, 25-21, 31-29). President of the State (2002-2012) Georgi Parvanov, Sports Minister Mariana Georgieva, and Members of the Parliament applauded their team and waved the tri-color flags of the country. With this win, Bulgaria tops Pool A with the same number of points as Brazil.

Stunned by surprising play of the guests, led by Bruno Romanutti and Federico Pereyra, Bulgaria lost the first set. Argentina played completely differently than the first match, and the only time Gauchos gave a scare to their rival was at 12-13 and 14-15. After that, Javier Weber and his boys enjoyed the taste of victory.

Camillo Placi managed to motivate his men, and in the beginning of the second set, they stopped the Argentinian storm. Engaging in a point-by-point rally until the 7th point, both team gave an extra special volleyball performance to the crowd. FIVB Hero Tsvetan Sokolov was not at his best, but captain Aleksiev made it happen. He was spiking and blocking well to close the set at 25-19.

Feeling the hesitation of the Gauchos, the hosts changed their tactics and rose the block. This gave them the an advantage from the very beginning of the third set. Gotsev and Yosifov made some kills and gave Bulgaria the 11-5 lead. Both middle blockers scored 5 blocks and total of 10 points to neutralize Bruno Romanotti and Sebastian Sole's attempts to keep the play equal.

Both teams played a very high level of volleyball in the fourth set. Argentina somehow came back from the shock and denied the Bulgarian idea of fast final set of the game. Javier Weber made some changes in the roster by bringing Castellani, Uriarte and Ramos onto the court, but at the end Romanotti, Sole and Crer were the motors that kept his team in the fight for that set. Neither of the teams managed to stretch the lead to more than one point, and it remained close until the very end. Tsvetan Sokolov took the leadership responsibility for Bulgaria and scored 12 points, which was one more than he scored in the first 3 sets combined. The power of his spikes was very important in the last minutes when Argentina was struggling to push the game to a tie-break. Sole, Oereyra, Crer and Romanotti were also cheered by the crowd for their performance and fantastic volleyball, but their efforts were not enough and Bulgaria ended the set victorious, 31-29.


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