France came from two sets down to reach the gold medal match ©CEV

France silenced  the home crowd in Sofia as they came from two sets down to claim a dramatic victory over Bulgaria and reach the final of the 2015 Men’s European Volleyball Championships.

A crowd of 12,500-strong crowd at the Arena Armeec hoped the home country could reach the gold medal match and they began strongly, taking the opening set 25-18.

The French team looked on course to level the scores when a technical time-out was called with them leading 16-12 in the second set, however Bulgaria took control when play resumed and doubled their advantage, winning 25-22.

France put the match back in the balance, however, holding their nerve to win tight third set 26-24.

The momentum of the tie swung in the French team’s favour as they levelled he score and then completing a stunning turnaround, triumphing in the deciding set to seal a 25-18, 25-22, 24-26, 21-25, 12-15 victory.

Slovenia's dream run continued as they defeated Italy in their semi-final match
Slovenia's dream run continued as they defeated Italy in their semi-final match ©CEV

“Bulgaria have a very strong team and they performed really well,” said France’s Antonin Rouzier.

“However, we were mentally extremely strong tonight, and we continued to push as much as we could every time we were trailing in the score knowing we could come back and turn the tide.

“I am of course delighted with this victory, which I believe we deserved.”

Earlier in the day, Slovenia continued their dream run in the tournament by overcoming Italy in four sets, a result ensuring whoever wins the final will be celebrating their first European title.

Slovenia, who had secured a stunning quarter-final win over the world champions Poland, continued where they had left off,  taking the opening set 25-13.

The match was levelled again quickly as Italy recovered from their sluggish start, but they were unable to live with their rivals in the next two sets as the surprise team of the tournament wrapped up a 25-13, 23-25, 25-20, 25-20 win. 

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