Ludogorets missed the chance to defeat AEK Larnaca in last night’s game which was part of the Europa League ‘A’ group, meaning that they have one point overall after the first three rounds. Ludogorets are five points behind the second team in the group, Bayer (Leverkusen). Bayer lost 2:3 to Zurich. The game against AEK was the first one for Antony Zdravkov in his new head coach role.
The champions played really good in the first twenty minutes and scored two goals, but the first one was cancelled due to an offside situation. Moti hit the woodwork once, and Keseru was not accurate enough to score twice. Ludogorets made a huge mistake in their defense line in the 25th minute. Renan did not intervene very well and the result was a penalty shot for AEK. Larena scored the goal.
Wanderson scored in the third minute of the game, but it was cancelled because of the above mentioned offside situation. Lukoki almost scored just a few seconds later but he was not able to outrun Ramirez. The home team continued to apply pressure, but it backfired in the 7th minute. Natanael and Wanderson passed to each other and then Lukoki got in control of the ball at high speed and scored a goal. After that situation AEK had the chance to make the score even. Trickovski was alone against Renan and the keeper showed his good reflexes, kicking the ball back into a corner. AEK had another chance in the 12th minute but they were not lucky. Moti received a pass from Wanderson but the ball went straight into the woodwork. Ludogorets missed another two goal situations in the 15th minute. The first time a mistake was made by the home team’s defense and Keseru took advantage of that but the ball went out. He chose no to pass to Wanderson which was the better option. Seconds later the Romanian player received the ball from Marcelinho who had the chance to score from about 7-8 meters.
Wanderson and Cicinho allowed a player from the other team after a 60-meter pass. The following kick towards the field center was not cleared out good by Moti. Renan tried to get in control of the ball but literally fell on Trickovski’s back. The referee decided there was a penalty. Larena scored from the penalty point and made the score even.
AEK took the initiative in the second half of the game. They were close to a second goal in the 52nd minute. Havel kicked the ball from the penalty zone border but it went close to the left gate beam. The home team had another chance to score twelve minutes later but Trickovski’s attempt from about three meters was not accurate. AEK missed again in the 83rd minute. After a quick shuffle in the penalty point Tete tried to send the ball into Renan’s gate, but it went flying a few centimeters above the crossbar.
The game ended with the even 1:1 score. The winner would still have good chances to leave the group. After three rounds the overall leader is Zurich with nine points, followed by Bayer with six. All the teams have another three rounds ahead of them.
AEK LARNACA - LUDOGORETS 1:1
0:1 Lukoki (7')
1:1 Larena (25') – penalty
AEK Larnaca: Ramirez, Trujols (71 – Barera), Gonsales, Katala, Silva, Joanu, Hevel, Tete (84 – Jean-Luc), Larena, Giannu (53 – Floran), Trickovski
Ludogorets: Renan, Natanael, Cicinho, Nedyalkov, Moti, Dyakov (82 – Mahlangu), Campanharo (60 – Goralski), Lukoki, Marcelinho, Wanderson, Keseru (84 – Swierczok)
Yellow cards: Hevel (AEK); Cicinho, Natanael, Goralski (Ludogorets).