It was a crucial match for the team USA against BULGARIA last night. The Americans were outsmarted by the Germans in 5 sets (3-2) 20-25,25-21,21-25,25-20,16-14 previously. Bulgaria nailed Germany in 4 sets (3-1) 26-28,25-19, 29-27,25-19 on the other hand.
The match started to become tough.Bulgarians attack upset the Americans but they found ways to stop them. Their massive blocks helped the team to score 25-21 in the first set. American setter,Donald Suxho, made two dumps that triggered Bulgaria to be an open spot at the middle. Matt Anderson was so clever enough to make some drop balls over the tall Bulgarian blockers. Vladimir Nikolov, Bulgarian captain showed his powerful cross court hits but not enough juice to win over the American team and sent it to 25-16 in set 2. Alexiev Todor scored 12 points, 10 attacks and 2 blocks but wasn’t enough to defeat USA. Sean Rooney contributed 15 points, 10 attacks, 3 blocks and 2 serves that sent Bulgaria in 25-17 in set 3.
With the 3 straight sets winning moment of the Americans, they topped in Pool E. They will play against Cuba today. The Cubans ranked second in Pool F when they nailed Brazil in 3 straight sets, 25-19,26-24,25-22. Poland topped in Pool F when the Polish team outdueled Brazil and Cuba, (3-2) and (3-0) respectively, 23-25,25-23,23-25,25-17,15-10 and 25-23,25-20,25-23.
Poland will play against Bulgaria since Brazil and Germany were out of the Final Four. Who will bag the gold this year? Poland took the bronze last year, Russia gold and Brazil silver. Cuba, USA,Bulgaria are hungry for this gold. The Americans took it last 2008 and bronze in 2007. Cuba got the gold in 1998 and silver in 1999. Bulgaria has no gold yet in the World League. Watch out guys~
(All photos are from http://www.fivb.org)