Reporting 11 May 2024

Ludogorets - a champion!

Ludogorets is the champion of Bulgaria for the 13th time in a row! This became a fact after the 3:1 success against CSKA, after which the difference...

Ludogorets is the champion of Bulgaria for the 13th time in a row! This became a fact after the 3:1 success against CSKA, after which the difference between the Eagles and the Reds became 13 points with 3 rounds to go. The match in Razgrad was a real show, as it had everything - goals, misses, mistakes of all kinds, a penalty, red cards and tension until the very end. The goals for the new old champion were realized by Duah twice and Nedyalkov, who scored a real masterpiece, while Fernando Karanga scored for the Reds. Both teams finished with 10 men each, after Karanga and Tekpetey received direct red cards after a massive melee in the 60th minute.

Ludogorets started in a dream way and took the lead in the 2nd minute. Tekpetey ran behind the defense, found Kwadwo Duah in the penalty area, who turned and shot, and after a slight ricochet off the leg of Brian Cordoba, the ball flew into the net of Gustavo Busato. In the 10th minute, Son got behind the CSKA defense and played a very good pass back to the onrushing Tekpetey, who shot but missed the goal. Just 120 seconds later, Tekpetey made a wonderful pass for Piotrowski, who came up alone against Busato, but shot wide. The Reds created their first chance in the 15th minute. Phaeton then missed Son and fired hard with his right foot, but Sergio Padt saved.

Ten minutes later, Duah got away from CSKA's defence, Busato went to meet him and the Swiss put the ball past the goalkeeper. Fortunately for the Brazilian, it did not hit the net. In the 32nd minute, Volen Chinkov showed a straight red card to Brian Cordoba for hitting Rick Jhonathan in the face. Subsequently, the VAR-referee Georgi Kabakov called Chinkov, who logically changed his decision, because the contact between the two Latin Americans was very weak and Cordoba remained on the field with only a yellow card.

CSKA equalized in the 35th minute. Then Sergio Padt made a huge mistake. Fernando Karanga was brought behind the defense by Amos Juga, but the Dutchman, instead of standing at his goal, went forward and Karanga effortlessly sent the ball into his net - 1:1. Immediately afterwards, Piotrowski could have put the home side ahead again, but his header was saved by Gustavo Bussato. In the 43rd minute, Ludogorets claimed a penalty after Kwadwo Duah stole the ball from Gustavo Busato and the keeper kicked him. The attack continued and it was finished by Rick who missed the goal from a clear position. Ludogorets started the second part in a dreamier way.

In the 49th minute, Rick Jhonathan overcame Thibaut Vion and returned the ball for Anton Nedyalkov with a heel. With a superb strike with his right foot, the former CSKA player left no chance for Busato - 2:1 for the Eagles. The Reds could quickly equalize, but after a good lead pass, Shopov and Karanga did not understand each other.

In the 55th minute, Duah came close to scoring a second goal with a back-heel, but Busato made a masterful save. The Eagles continued to press and went to a penalty. Fernando Karanga handballed Sonko Sundberg for a high ball. Initially, Volen Chinkov did not award a penalty, but then he was called to the VAR monitor by Georgi Kabakov and changed his decision - a penalty for the hosts. Behind the ball stood Duah, who made no mistake - 3:1 for Ludogorets. After the hit, a massive melee broke out on the field. Juga grabbed Duah by the neck, who had a word with Busato, Bradley de Neuer also intervened, and then all the players of both teams. It even got to the point where the teams' headquarters stormed the field to cool down the passions. In the end, the referee Volen Chinkov gave yellow cards to Yuga and Duah, and more importantly, straight reds to Tekpetey and Karanga. The Brazilian was sent off for hitting Son, and the Ghanaian for doing the same to Karanga. Thus, Tekpetey will not play in the final for the Bulgarian Cup, and Karanga will miss the home team of Krumovgrad. After the game resumed, there was danger in front of the goal of Ludogorets after a very good shot by Yuga, which, did not find the target.

Two lineup changes followed. For the home team, Spas Delev and Rwan entered in place of Gonsalves and Duah, and Heinz and Shopov came out for the Reds, Asprilya and the young Georgi Chorbadjiyski appeared instead. CSKA could have reduced the deficit in the 81st minute when Almeida and Sundberg broke up and Phaeton got into a good position but was stopped by Sergio Padt. Five minutes before the end of the meeting, Ivan Turitsov, who had not played for a month and a half due to injury, returned to play for the Reds. He immediately put on the captain's armband.

Thus, Ludogorets will calmly enter the final for the Bulgarian Cup against Botev Plovdiv on May 15.

With their 13th title, Ludogorets are just one trophy away from Sconto and the Lincoln Red Imps' all-time record of 14 consecutive first places. The Latvians achieved this from 1991 to 2004 and the Gibraltarians from 2003 to 2016. Ludogorets tied with 13 consecutive titles Rosenborg (1992-2004) and BATE Borisov (2006-2018). Razgrad people began their streak in 2012.


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Ludogorets - CSKA 3:1
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League table Parva liga, 37th round
1. Ludogorets 82
2. Cherno more 75
3. CSKA-Sofia 67
4. Levski 64
5. Lokomotiv (Plovdiv) 58
6. Krumovgrad 49

 
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