The Bulgarian national football team beat Gibraltar 5-1 in the penultimate match of Group 4, Division C of the Nations League.
In the 23rd minute, Filip Krastev crossed from a corner, and Valentin Antov scored with a header for 1:0. Just 180 seconds later, Liam Walker crossed from a corner and the visiting captain Roy Cipolina, who is 39 years old and a customs official by trade, was left unmarked to level the score at 1-1 again with a header. In the 36th minute, after a three-way combination between Ivan Turitsov, Iliyan Stefanov and Kiril Despodov, the captain scored for 2:1. In the 52nd minute, Petko Hristov passed the ball to Despodov, who directed it to Radoslav Kirilov, and he scored with a powerful volley for 3:1. After another 3 minutes, Despodov crossed into the penalty area and Iliyan Stefanov tried to score with his head, but the goalkeeper Koling knocked out. However, the midfielder sent the ball into his goal for 4:1 with the header. In the 81st minute, Kirilov led Marin Petkov behind the visitors’ defense, who made the final score 5:1.
The match was of great importance for the Lions, who needed a win against Julio Ribas’ side to avoid relegation to the lower Division D of the tournament.
The match in Razgrad was the official debut for the new selector Mladen Krastaich at the head of our representative team. Ioan Stoyanov and Georgi Rusev made their debut for the national team, replacing Ivan Turitsov and Kiril Despodov after an hour of play, and Marin Petkov and Iliya Gruev Jr. played as starters for the first time in the national jersey.
The victory is the first for Bulgaria in almost a year in an official match, after in October 2021 we beat Northern Ireland 2:1 in a world qualification.
Georgia beat North Macedonia 2-0 in the other group game and have already secured first place and promotion to League B in the next edition of the tournament.
In the ranking, Georgia leads with 13 points, the team of North Macedonia is second with 7. Bulgaria is third with 6, and Gibraltar is fourth with 1 point.