EURO TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP

Spain out in the semis but win a historic bronze

The women's team were on the verge of the making it through to the final but an exciting match was taken by a steely performance from Bulgaria.

Spain out in the semis but win a historic bronze
MARWAN NAAMANI AFP

The Bulgaria versus Spain semi-final was a re match of the very first group match last Tuesday where the Bulgarian team overcame the Spanish to top the group. Today’s match was much tighter with Spain getting the upper hand winning the opening two singles thanks to world Champion Carolina Marin and Beatriz Corrales.

The maths were simple thereafter, The Bulgarian team must win the final three match to advance to the final and go one better than their bronze medal of 2014.

Stefani Stoeva was to prove to be the hero of the day for Bulgaria taking the third singles and giving her team just a small glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel. Petya Nedelcheva avenged her earlier singles defeat teaming up with Gabriela Stoeva to give Bulgaria their second point and levelling the match at 2-2.

The drama that followed was spine tingling as after sharing the opening games in the final women’s doubles Carolina Marin and Beatriz Corrales had two match points in the final set to send the Spanish into the final.

It was the Bulgarian pair that held their nerve as Corrales faltered on her match point serve and somehow the Spanish drifted from their doubles game plan and appeared to slip back into singles mode which allowed Stoeva and Zetchiri take four points without reply to win and send Bulgaria into the final.

Bulgaria will now meet favourites Denmark in the final after the top seeds beat Germany 3-1 with Karin Schnaase winning Germany’s only point but maintaining her unbeaten record for the week in Kazan. A truly remarkable achievement in itself for the German number 1.