Sofia, Bulgaria, September 21, 2018 – Bulgaria recorded its win #100 at World Championships as co-hosts romped Iran for a 3-0 (25-19, 28-26, 26-24) win in Pool G. Todor Skrimov set a new mark for aces hitting seven and erased Dutch Reiner Nummerdor from the record books.
Bulgaria head coach Plamen Konstantinov made a change in the starting line-up opting for Nikolay Nikolov instead of captain Viktor Yosifov. But the more significant change was tactical as unlike the first round Lions incorporated much more attacks in the middle of the net. Nikolov went 4-for-5 and Svetoslav Gotsev also added a successful spike as Bulgaria quickly built a 11-2 on the way to a 25-19 first set win.
Skrimov was relatively quiet in the opening set and was replaced by Nikolay Penchev. But the wing-spiker made up for it in the second. The tension was immense as Mohammad Vadi hit an ace for 24-22. Iran missed the first set point. And the second as well as Milad Ebadipour’s spike went wide. Iranian never got another chance. Yosifov hit an ace, followed by Skrimov’s second of the set for an unlikely Bulgarian 28-26 win.
It was another nerve-wracking finish in Set as teams went point for point. Skrimov got his fourth serve of the match for a 13-12 Bulgarian lead and got back to the line with co-hosts trailing 19-20. And went berserk. Five bombs in a row, back-to-back-to-back aces and Bulgaria got within a point from getting a revenge for the 3-1 Pool D loss last week. None of the four match points was converted but on the fifth Valentin Bratoev’s spike went off the block into the stands and brought 7250 fans in “Arena Armeec” in a state of total euphoria.
Bulgaria finished with 11 aces, aided by his seven Todor Skrimov finished as a top scorer with 18. Bratoev added 17 (15 spikes).
With the win co-hosts leapfrogged Iran in the Pool G standings moving to second place. Next for Bulgaria – the clash on Saturday with the unbeaten USA.