The leader in the temporary standings of the First League CSKA won against the last in the ranking Spartak Varna. The match ended with a score of 1:0 for the hosts, which restored their lead of four points over the second-placed Ludogorets.
Sasha Ilic is back on the touchline after serving a two-match suspension. His players seemed to skimp on their energy and it could have cost them dearly. They handed the initiative to the opposition at some points in the second half and the visitors had their chances to score, even applying some pressure at the end.
In the end, Mauricio Garces’ goal in the 14th minute proved to be the only one in the clash. He scored after Bradley de Neuer delivered in style from the left and Tufegdzic missed a technicality in the penalty area. The ball ended up in Garces, who with a technical shot in the far corner checked the opponent.
With the success, CSKA continued its excellent form of “Bulgarian Army”, and also in the rivalry with Spartak Varna. It also collected 60 points at the top. Spartak remains last with only 12 points won.
There is a break for the matches of the national teams, and the next match for CSKA is for the Bulgarian Cup against Black Sea (04.04), followed by a visit to Slavia in the First League (04.09). Spartak plays with Ludogorets for the Cup (04.04) and with Beroe in the championship (09.04).
The home team started with a bang and after less than 2 minutes of play, Nazon broke into the penalty area well, “shrunk” the ball inside, but his shot was blocked. The ball reached Mauricio, who attempted a technical shot into the far corner, but the goalkeeper intervened there. In the following seconds, the pressure continued and the visitors blocked several shots in the penalty area after a scramble.
In the 5th minute, Hristiyan Petrov shot from afar after having all the time in the world. He made a not bad shot, but it didn’t find the frame of the goal.
14′ – 1:0! The result was discovered by the “reds” nearly a quarter of an hour after the start. Bradley de Neuer and Stanislav Shopov exchanged a double pass, after which the full-back crossed into the penalty area. There, Tufegdzic deliberately missed, and behind him the ball reached Garces, who precisely directed the ball with his weaker left foot into the net.
In the 33rd minute, Yordanov and Joao Mario combined well to create the best goal-scoring situation to date against Spartak Varna. However, Gustavo Bussato came out with foresight and, left alone against Mario, managed to save.
A drop in pace followed. The next good situation came in the 44th minute when Heinz made an excellent break into the penalty area, also demonstrating good technique. The ball then found its way to Nazon, who was blocked twice when trying to send the ball into the net.
A corner followed immediately after, with Matej finding himself in the penalty area, but his header came off the side post.
Tobias Heinz came close to a second goal for CSKA after Nazon made a superb save. However, the new recruit of the “army” tried to find the far corner with a light and precise shot, but did not hit the goal.
The gesture was returned shortly after when Nazon was ushered out of Heinz. The attacker demonstrated good technique and dealt with the opposing defender in the penalty area, but there the goalkeeper reached out and knocked the ball out of his feet with his hand.
In the 53rd minute, Shopov brought on Nazon, who controlled the difficult ball and attempted a shot with his weaker left foot, but it turned out to be too inaccurate.
The visitors played more and more boldly in forward positions and tried more and more attacks, with the hosts risking a less active game.
In the 71st minute, Yordanov entered the penalty area from the right, after which a sharp pass was made to Antui, but there Busato found his way quickly and reached the ball.
In the ensuing attack, Garces crossed from the right, and the opposing guard tried to catch the ball, but he did not show strong hands and it bounced off the crossbar.
In the 79th minute, Nazon entered the penalty area from the left, then changed direction inside and looked for a shot in the far corner. Santimentri separated him from the goal, and there, on the second post, Mauricio Garces narrowly missed the ball.
By the end of the match, Spartak tried to press, but it did not lead to a goal or a clear goal-scoring position.
BEFORE THE DUEL
CSKA coach Sasha Ilic returns to the bench after serving a two-game suspension. However, he will not be able to use Brian Moreno and Jefferson due to accumulated bookings while Ivan Turitsov is recovering from an injury.
Jonathan Lindseth should be careful, because if he receives a yellow card against Spartak Varna, he will be punished for the tough battle with Black Sea in the quarterfinals of the Bulgarian Cup. Dimitar Dimitrov-Hero will not be able to use one of his best players since the beginning of the spring half-season – Ives Romei. He received a fifth yellow card against Lokomotiv Sofia and is suspended.
At the moment, CSKA is first with 57 points, and today’s opponent has as many as 45 points less – only 12 points won. In their first meeting after Spartak’s return to the elite, which took place in September last year, the “reds” prevailed with the minimum 1:0.