Ludogorets played an exceptional first half against their most prestigious rival in the friendly games – Crvena zvezda, but ended up winning only 3:2 instead of defeating the Serbian giants.
Coach Ante Simundza chose a team for the first half that includes more of the Eagles' starters. Sergio Padt stood at the goal, Witry and Anton Nedyalkov were full backs, and Dinis Almeida and Olivier Verdon worked in the center of the defense. Jakub Piotrowski and Pedro Naressi acted as defensive midfielders, and Dominik Yankov was in front of them. At the top of the attack, Simundza relied on his second attacker - Igor Thiago, and Kiril Despodov and Bernard Tekpetey acted on both flanks.
Already in the 3rd minute, the ball reached Igor Thiago in the penalty area of Crvena zvezda. The Brazilian was alone against Milan Borjan and shot, but the ball hit the left side of the Serbian team's net. However, the pressure gave a result already in the 9th minute, after Tekpetey passed Nikolic, shot and Igor Thiago converted the ball deflected by the defender of Zvezda. In the 18th minute, Tekpetey sent a shot from distance, but Milan Borjan caught the ball. A minute later, Bucari made a tricky shot, but the ball hit the left side post of Sergio Padt's net and went out.
In the 20th minute, Tekpetey crossed into the penalty area of Crvena zvezda, where Jakub Piotrowski was in an excellent position. The Polish jumped alone against Boryan, but decided to shoot immediately, but his shot was weak and fell right into the hands of the Canadian international. Tekpetey outplayed Lazar Nikolic then crossed into the Crvena zvezda penalty area where Dominik Yankov was left unmarked and shot but Milan Borjan produced an outstanding performance.
His colleague in the goal of the Eagles, Padt, responded with a great intervention in the 25th minute. Srdjan Mijajlovic was forgotten down the right flank and crossed into the Ludogorets box, where Aslak von Witry released Stefan Mitrovic, who headed in, but Padt made the save and then the ball bounced off the crossbar.
Ludogorets doubled the lead in the 34th minute when Naressi passed to Tekpetey, who with a very strong shot put the ball into Borjan's near corner. Ludogorets made it 3:0 in the 36th minute. Kiril Despodov advanced on the right flank and passed very precisely to Thiago, who left no chance for Milan Borjan, sending the ball into his net and scoring his second goal of the match.
However, the bad luck continued for the people of Razgrad in terms of injuries. Dinis Almeida was injured early in the second half. He was replaced by new signing Franco Russo, who came from Mallorca.
The "Eagles" continued to attack and in the 58th minute, Mathias Tissera was released from the Zvezda defense, he jumped alone against Milan Borjan and shot, but the Canadian international saved. After the corner kick, the ball fell to the feet of Franco Russo, who shot, but Borjan saved again.
In the 66th minute, one of the Serbian stars, Kanga, tried his luck with a powerful shot from a long distance. There was a slight ricochet in the body of a defender, and the ball flew into a corner kick.
Crvena zvezda reduced the deficit in the 75th minute when Alex Vigo passed to Bucari, who passed to Mirko Ivanic, who curled the ball into Simon Sluga's goal, with the keeper also at fault for the goal. In the 78th minute, Mathias Tissera again came out alone against the Crvena zvezda goalkeeper, but shot high over the crossbar.
The Serbians made it 2-3 in the 90th minute when Alex Vigo beat Gropper and Rousseau before slotting the ball into Simon Sluga's goal from a narrow angle.
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