DAY 1: Germany, Italy and Bulgaria off to a good start.
It’s match time in Sofia at last: eight teams looking for a ticket to London will play until 13 May to take home the gold medal and secure their place in the Olympics. Let’s see what happened yesterday to our FIVB Heroes…
Germany and Slovakia opened the tournament at Armeec Arena. Germany won in straight sets (3-0: 25-19, 25-22, 25-20), scoring the first three points. In the same pool Italy had a tough time beating Finland, but after a thrilling match Parodi’s team earned two points (3-2: 25-21, 16-25, 30-28, 16-25, 16-14).
In the last match of the day hosts Bulgaria entered the court in front of their home crowd against Slovenia and Kazyiski’s squad took the opportunity to end the day with three points on their scorecard. Bulgaria won 3-0 (25-23, 25-18, 25-22), putting them in the lead in Pool A.
DAY 2: Germany go through to the semi-finals
On the second day of the tournament in Sofia, Germany took its place in the semis thanks to the second victory in a row in their Pool, while Bulgaria maintained its chances to follow suit.
The team of FIVB Hero Ferdinand Tille, who is not part of the squad this time, is the first semi-finalist of the competition after beating Finland 3-1 (31-29, 25-19, 21-25, 25-16). Finland once again put up fierce opposition, but it was not enough to stop Vital Heynen’s team celebrating their amazing achievement.
This match was the only one in Pool B for the day, whilst Pool A saw two. The first pitted Spain against Slovenia, with the Iberians winning 3-0 (25-17, 25-23, 25-18) thanks to a strong block that left their opponents with no gaps to exploit.
In the second match Bulgaria met Serbia in one of the most interesting matches of the whole tournament – the two squads know each other so well one could almost consider it a derby, especially for our Heros Kazyiski and Starovic. So who won? Bulgaria! In front of a sold-out Armeec Arena, with enthusiastic fans cheering and screaming throughout the entire match, Matey Kazyski and his team won in straight sets 3-0 (25-22, 25-16, 25-23). However, their place in the semis won’t be assured until Friday’s results are known.
Next up: Spain vs Slovenia in Pool A, while in Pool B Slovakia will face Finland and Italy the Germans. Who will be the winners? Which FIVB Hero will celebrate his victory?
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