Bulgaria coach Plamen Konstantinov huddles with his team during their match against Australia
Dallas, USA July 3, 2016 - In a battle of two teams looking for their first 2016 World League win and hoping not to lose their spot in the top group, Bulgaria overcame its mistakes to win, 3-2 (25-20, 21-25, 25-18, 23-25, 15-14) on Sunday at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center Arena. Australia came back to win the fourth set, before Bulgaria took the fifth.
Plamen Konstantinov, coach of Bulgaria: We played well. We made some mistakes in the end. We were leading, could have finished the match normally - in front four, five points in the fourth set - enough to start making mistake after mistake because we know that we must win and always this match is difficult to play. I think they played without pressure, and the most important thing is we found a way to win this match. There were two phases of this match, it had some very nice moments some very good play from our team for two sets and some very scared, intimidated [moments], but what’s most important is that we win and we keep the position in the first division that was our target today.
Roberto Santilli, coach of Australia: It was a very tough World League for us because we already very young team, and then we're missing four important players, but in spite of that, today was the game we should have won. We arrived very close, but do the small details make a difference? Perhaps yes. We take this World League hoping it was good for our young guys to learn something. It was tough for us.
Viktor Yosifov, captain of Bulgaria: It was a crazy match today. We gave all the best from us and we are satisfied that we saved our place in the first group of the World League, that is the most important thing. We started really good in the first set and then we went down after getting up and at the end of the fourth set I think we lost by ourselves. In tiebreaker, it’s difficult. You don't know what’s going to happen. [Our coach told us] we need to have a clear mind and think about the victory, nothing else.
Grigory Sukochev, captain of Australia: It's unfortunate. It was nice to have a fight, but hats off to Bulgaria for pulling it off in the end. The fourth set was a good battle. It was nice to have a chance to come back there. Our block was working well and it was just a few points here and there but that's that.