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Finland outclass Bulgaria behind Sivula’s attack

Finland team leave the FIVB Men's World Championship with a good taste after the victory over Bulgaria
Wroclaw, Poland, September 14, 2014 – Finland stormed past Bulgaria in straight sets (25-18, 25-21, 25-18) as both sides concluded their participation in the 2014 FIVB Men’s World Championship at Centennial Hall of Wroclaw on Sunday.

Finland finished the second round of the competition with a 2-5 win-loss record and 6 points while Bulgaria closed at 1-6 and five points.

Key points

•Bulgaria had won the two previous world championship matches between these teams
•It was the fourth Finland victory over Bulgaria in 13 meetings at major competitions
•Bulgaria lost their last five matches in this tournament

Urpo Sivula led Finland with 22 points, 20 via spikes, followed by Olli Kunnari with 10. Tsvetan Sokolov finished with 11 points for Bulgaria while Nikolay Penchev had nine in the loss.

In the last match on this championship, both teams wanted to show themselves from the best side, so that the beginning of the set was well leveled. Olli Kunnari and Urpo Sivula were scoring points for the Finns, while in Bulgaria’s team the outstanding players were Teodor Todorov and Svetoslav Gotsev. Following the first technical time-out, the Scandinavians quickly took a three-point lead. With every next move, Finland’s team were more effective, while the Bulgarians were making lots of simple errors. They were helpless in the reception and also in the attack. The focused Finnish players used a worse form of the opponents, so that the scoreboard showed a result 19-13. Head coach Plamen Konstantinov was forced to ask for two time-outs and make several changes in his team. However the Finns were consistently oppressing Bulgarian defence and with Sivula’s block-out move, they won the first set 25-18.

The world No. 26 ranked team immediately jumped out to 6-2 lead in the second part of the meeting. With Sivula in a promising form, Finland’s side were the tough opponent. Unexpectedly, following the technical break, Bulgaria managed to catch up the result, as the Scandinavians completely lost the rhythm of the game. They could not properly receive the ball and their spikes were off target. Meanwhile, Nikolay Penchev produced some satisfying kills, so that the Bulgarians led to a tie 10-10. Head coach Tuomas Sammelvuo’s team recovered from a temporary crisis and thanks to Sivula, Kunnari and Antti Siltala they regained the lead. Before the second technical time-out, they led 16-13. Again, Bulgaria caused the tied score but Finland did not let the opponents to take away a victory from them. They gained the set 25-21, following Siltala’s move.

The last set of the match belonged to the Finns as they continued their fantastic play. They were successful in the attack and block as they had astonishing Sivula with his effectiveness on the level of 88 per cent. Also the rest of the team was showing a great volleyball. Matti Oivanen produced an admirable ace and Mikko Esko stopped Todor Skrimov’s kill, so that the Scandinavians led 16-10. Coach Konstantinov tried to motivate his players but the world No. 8 ranked team were absolutely helpless. Finland used the situation and easily gained the first match victory in the second round on this championship. With Sokolov’s service mistake, the Scandinavians won 25-18. However both Bulgaria and Finland did not qualify to the final six.


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