Home » ECJ M: Bulgaria and Turkey put up a terrific fight

ECJ M: Bulgaria and Turkey put up a terrific fight

by WoV
source: cev.lu

The second match of the day between Bulgaria and Turkey was played at an extremely high intensity as both teams were fighting for a spot in the semis. Bulgaria was down 0-2 but showed incredible fighting spirit to eventually claim this drama with the score of 3-2 (22-25, 22-25, 28-26, 27-25, and 17-15), after surviving two match balls for their opponents in set 3 plus one in the tie-break, and be currently ranked second in the group.



The Turks caught a good start in the first set and led 8:5 by the first technical time-out and 16:10 by the second. Both teams served cannon balls but on the other side of the net the reception was at an equally high level. Turkey took a time-out as Bulgaria made three points in a row reducing the Turkish lead to 22:24, but a too long Bulgarian serve closed the set (22-25).
The Bulgarian team started best in the second set leading 8:6 by the first technical time-out. Then Turkey turned the set over with a strong team performance and a lot of shouting and led 16:12 by the second technical time-out. Turkey had a 20:16 lead, but Bulgaria showed strong morale and leveled the set at 20:20. Turkey did not let Bulgaria take the lead, and the second set ended as a copy of the first: 25-22 to Turkey.
The Bulgarian team seemed to be determined not to lose the third set and was in front 8:5 by the first technical time-out and 16:10 by the second. A massive serving pressure from Turkey leveled the set at 21:21 before two serves out of the court made it 22:22. Bulgaria survived two Turkish match balls (24:25 and 25:26) before closing the set 28-26.
Bulgaria kept the upper hand in the beginning of the fourth set leading 8:4 by the first technical time-out and 16:13 by the second. The tough Turks leveled the set at 23:23. Turkey survived two set points (24:23 and 25:24) before Bulgaria won the set 27-25 sending the match to the tie-break.
A tight tie-break was the only proper finale to this fantastic fight. All level at 5:5 Bulgaria made three points in a row with good serves from wing-spiker Radoslav Popov before the teams changed sides. Bulgaria was in front 11:7 before Turkey leveled the count at 13:13 in this amazing drama. Turkey had a match point at 14:13, but Bulgaria survived once more and got to the front 16:15 and won the tiebreak 17-15 and the match 3-2.   
Head coach Miroslav Zhivkov: “I am emotionally tired. The game had a lot of changes. We started really nervous where the Turks on the other hand were very precise and motivated. I do not know exactly what happened, but I am very glad things changed around so we could come back in the game. In the tie-break both teams could win, but I am really glad we did”.
Bulgarian opposite Ivan Ivanov made 19 points in the match: “I am very tired. I did not play so well today, but I gave all the power so the team could win. I am really grateful for the team’s performance. Everybody gave everything. Tomorrow we have to play better to beat Spain so we can make it to the semifinals”.

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