The youth players of Ludogorets played good and achieved an even 2:2 score against Botev in the last game for the team in First league. The home team coach Dimitar Dimitrov decided to compose the team with Bulgarian players only, which is the first time this happens since the team is present in the Elite group. This was the same youth formation which finished their participation in the Second league in ninth place. The keeper Damyan Damyanov made his debut in the Elite group; he is the son of the former coach of Lokomotiv (Sofia) Valeriy Damyanov. Preslav Petrov, Lachezar Kovachev and Georgi Valchev also played in the Elite group for the first time.
The home team had a decent opportunity to score in the 14th minute when Kerchev passed to Kitov after a corner shot. Kitov kicked the ball, but it went over the crossbar. After that situation the whole action remained in front of Damyanov and the visiting team had more control over the ball. Petkov passed to Brisola with his heel in the 24th minute, but the attack did not end with a goal. Six minutes later Afonso had the opportunity to score from the foul point, but he hit the woodwork. Afonso was able to pass to Petkov in the 36th minute, but Damyanov kicked the ball out after Petkov tried to score. Ludogorets organized a counter attack and took the lead. Klimentov went ahead and crossed the center of the field, after which he passed the ball to Aleksandrov who returned it immediately, and Botev’s keeper was left helpless. In the last moments of the first half Ludogorets’ defense line made a mistake and Brisola took advantage, but Damyanov intervened perfectly.
Ludogorets had the first good opportunity after the second half began. Aleksandrov received a good pass and proved to be quicker than Filipov. The young player kicked the ball but it went straight to Kaiser’s body. Botev made the score even in the 55th minute when the replacement player N’Dongala was accurate enough. He performed a direct free kick and was able to fool Damyanov. Just two minutes later Botev completely turned the tables on Ludogorets after Terziev received an accurate pass from Afonso and played smart in the penalty zone. Petkov passed to Brisola in the 66th minute, but the Brazilian missed the gate.
Ludogorets made the score even in the 76th minute. The replacement player Iliev was able to pass to Dost, who attempted to score with his head right in front of Marin and the ball went into Kaiser’s gate for 2:2. Klimentov was close to a second goal in the 83rd minute after he took advantage of a mistake made by Terziev, but the ball hit the woodwork. Petkov made a huge miss after the counter attack. Later Damyanov was able to kick out a powerful shot by N’Dongala. Kovachev outplayed Botev’s defense in the last seconds of the game, but lost his balance right before he was about to score.
LUDOGORETS – BOTEV (PLOVDIV) 2:2
1:0 Klimentov (37')
1:1 N’Dongala (54')
1:2 Terziev (56')
2:2 Dost (75')
Ludogorets: Damyanov, Petrov, Kerchev (captain), Valchev, Klimentov, Yankov, Aleksandrov, S. Kovachev, Kitov, L. Kovachev, Dost (92 – Dimitrov).
Botev: Kaiser, Filipov, Terziev, Marin, Minev, Yusein, Brisola, Petkov (91 – Vasilev), Campos (46 – N’Dongala), Afonso, Dobrev (63 – Georgiev).
Yellow cards: Yankov, Dost (Ludogorets); Afonso (Botev).