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 Match info | Description
Russia falls to Bulgaria

Bulgaria celebrates its victory

Khabarovsk, Russia, June 27, 2009 - Russia didn't make it easy, but the Bulgarian team won its second match of the 2008 World League with a 3-1 (31-29, 16-25, 25-23, 25-20) victory over the hosts on Saturday at the Platinum Arena in Khabarovsk.

The victory improved Bulgaria's record in Pool C to 2-3. Russia lost its first domestic game in front of 7,000 fans and fell to 3-2.

Bulgarians Matey Kaziyski and Vladimir Nikolov led all scorers with 19 points. Semen Poltavskiy led Russia with 18 points.

The two teams will meet again on Sunday at the Platinum Arena for their second match of the weekend.

The Russian team opened up to lead 8-4 at the first technical timeout and increased it to 16-12 at the second TTO. On the restart Russian head coach Daniele Bagnoli made a double substitution (opposite player Maxim Mikhailov instead of Semen Poltavsiy, setter Alexander Butko instead of Sergey Grankin) but he soon had to sent the starters back as Bulgaria bounced back and tied the score at 20. However Russia gained two set points but missed them. The teams were neck and neck for a while until  Alexandr Volkov's hitting error handed the set to Bulgaria - 31-29.

In the second set hosts jumped out to 8:4 but Bulgaria managed to level at 14. However Russia never trailed in the second set.  Alexey Kasakov came from the bench to help his team to regain the lead with some strong play at the net. Russia had no troubles any more and ended the set at 24-16. 

The third set was a different story as the Russian guys suddenly seemed very tired. Bulgaria played very well at the reception that made easy the job for its attackers. The Balcan team took control at the beginning of the set and went on confidentially to have four set points. Vladimir Nikolov ended the set with a vicious kill - 25-23.

In the final set Russia was helpless to stop the Bulgarians taking complete control. Hosts didn't give up but making some troubles for their opponent at the middle of the set was the only they could do. Bulgarian block worked perfectly while the Russians failed to stop Bulgarians hitters Matei Kaziyski, Vladimir Nikolov and Metosi Ananiev. It was Matei Kaziyski who scored to finish off the last set - 25-20.  


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