Brazil and Bulgaria stay on winning track towards Tokyo


Brazil’s starters against Egypt

Varna, Bulgaria, August 10, 2019 – Hosts Bulgaria are set to challenge reigning Olympic champions Brazil for the one Tokyo 2020 ticket available in Pool A of the Olympic men’s volleyball qualifications, as both teams mastered straight-set victories in Saturday’s second matches to stay unbeaten in Varna. The South American powerhouse delivered an emphatic 3-0 (25-12, 25-19, 25-14) blowout of Egypt with 13 points from Yoandy Leal Hidalgo. Rozalin Penchev contributed 15 points to the home team’s 3-0 (25-20, 25-22, 25-12) shutout of Puerto Rico.

Pre-match stats:

Brazil - Egypt (August 10, 2019) 
• Brazil and Egypt meet for the first time in the last seven world Olympic qualifying campaigns (1996-2020).
• Brazil won all 12 major world level encounters with Egypt (Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, World League, Nations League, Grand Champions Cup).
• Egypt failed to win a single set in their 12 world level matches against Brazil.
• Their most recent world level meeting came at the 2018 World Championship.

• Brazil started their qualifying campaign with a 3-0 win against Puerto Rico.
• Brazil is the only NOC to have appeared in all 14 men's volleyball tournaments held at the Olympic Games (1964-2016). They won gold in 1992, 2004 and 2016 and also collected medals in 1984 (silver), 2008 (silver) and 2012 (silver).
• Brazil share the record for most Olympic gold medals with Soviet Union and United States. Their six total medals are also a joint-record with Soviet Union and Italy.
• Ricardo Lucarelli Souza (14), Isac Santos (13) and Wallace De Souza (12) were Brazil's top scorers against Puerto Rico on Friday.
• Ricardo Lucarelli Souza completed four of Brazil's seven total stuff blocks won in Varna on Friday.

• Egypt lost their opener against hosts Bulgaria 3-1 in Varna.
• Egypt appeared in four Olympic Games: 1984, 2000, 2008 and 2016 (excl. 1976 boycott). Only Tunisia (6) participated in more Olympic Games among African NOCs.
• Ahmed Shafik was Egypt's top scorer against Bulgaria (16 points). He was the only player in that match with multiple points from attacks (12), blocks (2) and serves (2).
• Hisham Ewais (15) and Mohamed Abdelmohsen Seliman (10) also reached double figures in scoring against Bulgaria on Friday.

Puerto Rico - Bulgaria (August 10, 2019) 
• Puerto Rico and Bulgaria meet for the first time in the last seven world Olympic qualifying campaigns (1996-2020).
• Bulgaria won both of their matches against Puerto Rico in major world level tournaments (Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, World League, Nations League, Grand Champions Cup).
• Bulgaria won 3-1 at the 2007 World Cup and 3-0 at the 2018 World Championship.

Puerto Rico
• Puerto Rico lost their opener in three sets against Brazil on Friday.
• Puerto Rico are hoping to become the fifth NORCECA side to qualify for the Olympic Games, after United States, Cuba, Canada and Mexico.
• Puerto Rico won only one of their last 11 world Olympic qualification matches, a 3-0 victory against Indonesia in 2008.
• Of Puerto Rico's 61 points against Brazil, 11 were scored by Pablo Guzman and 10 by Maurice Torres. Of the other 40 points, 22 were unforced errors by Brazil.

• Bulgaria beat Egypt 3-1 in front of a home crowd in Varna in their opening qualifying match.
• Bulgaria could qualify for the Olympic Games for the ninth time, and for the first time since 2012. Bulgaria's best result in the Olympic Games was a second place in 1980, their only Olympic medal in men's volleyball.
• Bulgaria won each of their last seven matches in world Olympic qualification tournaments, three in 1996, three in 2012 and one this time around. They earned qualification in both 1996 and 2012.
• Tsvetan Sokolov scored 28 points against Egypt, twice as many as any of his teammates (Todor Skrimov next with 14).
• Viktor Yosifov (3) was the only player with more than two stuff blocks won in the match between Bulgaria and Egypt.

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