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Eurovolley2021: North Macedonia remain in contention for main event. Bulgaria not shines but win again

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North Macedonia achieved the second win in the qualifications for the 2021 CEV Volleyball European Championship to stay in contention for participation for main event. They downed Bosnia and Herzegovina for the second time in three days in the qualifying Pool C, which they host in their capital of Skopje: 3-0 (25:20, 26:24, 25:13).
Thus, North Macedonia tied with Turkey at 6 points. These two will lock horns in two days in what will likely be a direct duel for a spot in the continental championship. Bosnia and Herzegovina are out of contention, having no points on their account. Aleksandar Ljaftov was North Macedonia’s most prolific player today with 21 points, and the same number scored also Adi Osmanovic for Bosnia&Herzegovina.

It was a great game and a very important victory for us without losing a point. This is what we promised to our fans yesterday. We were under lot of pressure after the loss from Turkey, but we came back and I am proud of the team. We meet again the Turkish side on Saturday. They are the favourites but we have our chances and we will try to win and proceed ahead” Nikola Gjorgiev, captain of North Macedonia said.

I want to congratulate the Macedonian players. They played a very good game this evening, they outclassed us on serve and reception. We lost our game in the third set. Of course, we will try to give our best in tomorrow’s match vs Turkey and to win one, or maybe two sets. In sports, you never know…” Admir Colo, player of Bosnia&Herzegovina stated.

In Pool B, as expected Bulgaria, with 15 points by Tsvetan Sokolov swept hosts Israel in the city of Hadera and now top the charts with 6 points, 3 points more than Austria. Martin Atanasov and Todor Skrimov also contributed with 14 and 13 respectively for the winners.

Today, we played another “medium-good” match. I am happy with the result, of course, because 3-0 is always our target. However, in terms of quality of the play, we are still trying to get things under control and to maintain the same level during all the match. We have many players that aim at playing at the highest level always, and that is very good. Maybe we lacked some concentration in the match vs Israel but we reacted on time. We recovered from negative situation and got back on our feet. Now, we will prepare for the match against Austria on Saturday, that, in my opinion, will be decisive for the final result of this Qualifier“, Silvano Prandi, head coach of Bulgaria said.

On Friday, Bulgaria have a rest day, while Israel will meet Austria for the start of the second half of the qualification tournament.

📌| Qualifications for 2021 CEV European Championship, Pool CSkopje:

| January 11
North Macedonia – Bosnia and Herzegovina 3-1 (27:25, 25:21, 23:25, 25:19)

| January 12
Bosnia and Herzegovina – Turkey 0-3 (15:25, 17:25, 18:25)

| January 13
Turkey – North Macedonia 3-1 (25:16, 18:25, 25:18, 25:12)

| Second round robin
| January 14: Bosnia & Herzegovina – North Macedonia 0-3 (20:24, 24:26, 13:25)
| January 15: Turkey – Bosnia & Herzegovina 3-0 (25:9, 25:19, 25:18)
| January 16: North Macedonia – Turkey 3-1 (25:19, 21:25, 25:23, 25:18)

Standings : Turkey 6, North Macedonia 6, Bosnia & Herzegovina 0

📌| Qualifications for 2021 CEV European Championship, Pool BIsrael:

| January 12
Israel – Austria 0-3 (25:27, 23:25, 20:25)

| January 13
Austria – Bulgaria 1-3 (21:25, 25:20, 19:25, 22:25)

| January 14
• Bulgaria – Israel 3-0 (27:25, 25:16, 25:22)

Standings: Bulgaria 6, Austria 3, Israel 0

| Second round robin
| January 15: Austria – Israel 2-3 (21:25, 25:20, 25:27, 25:20, 11:15)
| January 16: Bulgaria – Austria 3-0 (25:15, 25:18, 25:22)
| January 17: Israel – Bulgaria 0-3 (20:25, 21:25, 23:25)

Source and Photo: CEV

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