Ludogorets started their journey in the European tournaments with a major success. ‘The Eagles’ were able to defeat Crusaders with the whopping 7:0 score. Ludogorets could have added even more goals to the score, but the keeper O’Neil suffered enough. This was the biggest win in the history of the European tournaments for the team from Razgrad.
The head manager Paulo Autuori returned to the European tournaments after a 22-year absence. He chose the exact same 11 players who played against Slavia and won the Bulgarian Supercup. Renan was the keeper, with Cicinho, Moti, Forster and Natanael right in front of him. Dyakov and Campanharo were next in line, and Wanderson, Marcelinho, Misidjan and Keseru were the attackers.
Ludogorets was the more active team since the beginning of the game. Wanderson demanded a penalty shot after he was pushed in the back, but it was not granted. The guest team quickly showed their typical manner – the rough interactions. Cadel deserved a red card for a deliberate split in Campanharo’s feet. Burns had a similar situation after literally stepping on Marcelinho’s back. The champions were able to overcome the rough start and Misidjan attempted an attack, but a defender from Crusaders kicked the ball out. ‘The Eagles’ took the lead in the 25th minute when Cicinho passed to Campanharo, after which Marcelinho took control over the ball and scored. Fifteen minutes later Misidjan made an attack in ‘Mbale’ style, but his shot was off the target. Seconds later the score became 2:0 after Keseru passed to Misidjan, and Brown attempted to clear the ball, but he sent it in his own team’s gate instead. Keseru tried to score again later from the foul point, but he sent the ball above the crossbar.
The second half began with the same pace as the first one ended. Keseru added a third goal in the 54th minute after he received the ball from Natanael. The Romanian was quicker than Brown and scored with his head. Nine minutes later another shot by Keseru was stopped by a Crusaders’ defender. There was nothing that could save the guests in the 66th minute when Misidjan passed to Marcelinho with his heel, and he was able to surprise O’Neil with a kick from a 25-meter distance and added the fourth goal.
Crusaders had the chance to return a goal in the 69th minute and after that Moti showed his reflexes and cleared the ball with his head twice from the goal line after Renan made a mistake. Four minute Swierczok scored a beautiful goal after Marcelinho passed to him. The fifth goal was added five minutes later and if was scored by Swierczok who took advantage of a mistake made by the other team. The Polish player was able to pull off a hat-trick in the 75th minute and shaped the final 7:0 score.
The rematch in Belfast is scheduled for 27th of July.
LUDOGORETS - CRUSADERS 7:0
1:0 Marcelinho (25')
2:0 Brown – own goal (40')
3:0 Keseru (53')
4:0 Marcelinho (66')
5:0 Swierczok (73')
6:0 Swierczok (78')
7:0 Swierczok (80')
LUDOGORETS: Renan, Moti, Cicinho, Forser, Natanael, Dyakov, Campanhari (64 -Luka Sasha), Wanderson (77 – Lukoki), Marcelinho, Misidjan, Keseru (568 – Swierczok)
CRUSADERS: O’Neil, Burns, Beverland, Lawry, Carvil (76 – Clarke), Cadel (60 – Owens), Forsight, Owens, Snody, Broun, Heathley (76 – Gladkin)
Yellow cards: Keseru (Ludogorets); Beverland, Burns, Forsight, Cadel (Crusaders).