The champion of Bulgaria – Ludogorets, had to go through penalties to defeat the winner of the SESAME Cup of Bulgaria – Levski, for the Super Cup of Bulgaria. In regular time, the two teams drew 2:2 in an extremely interesting match at “Vasil Levski”. The “Eagles” had to make up for a passive against the “Blues” after Georgi Milanov gave the capital city an advance with a fine performance in the 41st minute, but two goals by Kiril Despodov in the second half (68 and 71-penalty) turned the tide for 11- the multiple champion, but in stoppage time Kelian van der Kaap equalized for the capital city to send the match to be decided by penalties.
In general, the “blues” were the more active team in the first half of “Vasil Levski” and logically retreated with a goal lead, but in the second half Ludogorets played at a greater speed and Ante Shimunja’s team started to play the ball more skillfully the two flanks, which made it difficult for the team led by Stanimir Stoilov to defend, which cracked a little more than 100 seconds into the game. In the end, the Dutch defender of Levski equalized the result, which sent the “blue” fans into ecstasy again.
In the penalties, the tougher team turned out to be the one from Razgrad, as misses by Martin Petkov and Asen Mitkov from the symbolic guests deprived them of a second trophy for 2022.
The match in the center of Sofia started with a slight territorial advantage for the people of Razgrad, and in the seventh minute Jose Cordoba from the “blues” received a yellow card after elbowing Kiril Despodov in the head. In the 12th minute, Levski’s Ronaldo had a claim to a penalty for a foul on Anton Nedyalkov, but the Brazilian from the token visitors fell too lightly to give Kabakov the opportunity to point to the penalty spot.
Seconds later, Levski created a very good attack after Welton passed the Ludogorets defender with ease. He then attempted a sharp pass to Ronaldo, but Anton Nedyalkov stopped the pass. In the 14th minute, the “blues” took the lead after Filip Krastev gave a good lead pass to Iliyan Stefanov for him to convert. The former Beroe and Lokomotiv Sofia player was offside and the goal was disallowed.
In the 25th minute, Ludogorets’ Benin defender Olivier Verdon was shown a yellow card after expressing his displeasure about a foul on Welton to referee Kabakov.
Three after that, Levski hit the post of Ludogorets. Ronaldo crossed from the left, the ball ricocheting off Nedyalkov’s leg, and the ball took a parabolic trajectory, then “landed” on Sergio Padt’s post. Then the ball went to Filip Krastev, who shot, but straight at the Dutch guard of the “Eagles”.
Eight before the end of the first half, Filip Krastev tried a shot from a serious distance on a free kick, but the ball stopped just in front of the stands of Sector “G” of “Vasil Levski”. In the 40th, Padt twice blocked shots from Levski players. First Ronaldo tried to convert, but without success, then Kelly van der Kaap ran to score, but again into the body of the guard. This was followed by a strong shot by Cauley Oliveira on the diagonal with his left foot, but the ball flew wide of the goal, guarded by the young Plamen Andreev.
In the 42nd minute, Levski opened the scoring, and in what way. Ronaldo advanced from the left and started to lie to Nedyalkov. The Brazilian tangled and the ball ricocheted between the two, but in the end he passed to Georgi Milanov, although Manuel Shaw’s split was unsuccessful. #7 from “Gerena” shot powerfully with his left foot, after which the ball spectacularly flew into the goal of Ludogorets – 0:1 for Levski.
The national selector Mladen Krastaich, as well as his assistant – Ivan Ivanov, are watching the match of “Vasil Levski” live, as well as a bunch of other important people from the native football. At the break, Shimunja made two changes to his starting line-up, bringing on Igor Thiago and Rick Jonathan, who replaced Tissera and Tekpetei, who was booked.
In the 54th minute, the first favorable chance for the “eagles” opened. Kiril Despodov had an excellent opportunity to equalize after dealing well with Tsunami, then easily chipped the Brazilian to set the ball on his left foot. A kick followed, but Andreev knocked the ball away with his foot. Before an hour had passed Rick brought out Cowley beautifully in Levski’s penalty area after the ball was passed from one to the other flank, but Plamen Andreev stopped the Eagles’ Brazilian playmaker with one hand.
After a little more than an hour of play, Welton was brought to the left by Stefanov. He shot through two defenders in green, but unfortunately for him, the shot went wide. Thiago appeared on the field at the break and had two chances until the 65th minute to score, but both times he was in an ambush. In the 69th minute, Rick Jonathan took the ball to the left flank, where Anton Nedyalkov was. The captain of Ludogorets placed a sharp pass to Kiril Despodov, who was “forgotten” by Levski’s defense, so that the Bulgarian could beat Levski with the outside of his right foot – 1:1.
The Eagles’ drive brought the needed result seconds later. Van Der Kaap easily lost a ball from Rick Jonathan. The Brazilian found a way to pass the ball to Igor Thiago, who feinted Plamen Andreev, and Levski’s young goalkeeper held on to Thiago’s left foot with his right hand to allow Kabakov to point to the penalty spot. Behind the ball stood Despodov, who was unerring – 2:1 for Ludogorets.
Levski pressed his opponent, and in the second minute of the overtime, the “blues” equalized the match. Petris then got to the right and passed to Ronaldo. The Brazilian played very badly, but luckily for him the ball returned to Van der Kaap so that the Dutchman could hit the Ludogorets goal – 2:2.
This was also the last more interesting moment in the match, as by the end of the match, Ludogorets got to a corner kick, from which nothing came and it was time for penalties. Ivelin Popov shot very well in the right corner of Padt, and the Dutchman threw himself right there, but the shot of the experienced Bulgarian was good enough – 1:0 on penalties. Ludogorets started with Cauley, with the Brazilian sending the ball to the bottom left corner of Andreev, he touched the ball, but it was stronger than expected – 1:1. Stoilov chose Marin Petkov as the second choice, and the youngster tried a panenka, but Padt saved a penalty for the first time in his career for Ludogorets, and with one hand. Rick Jonathan shot hard to the lower right of the young Andreev, but this time the youngster saved the Brazilian’s shot. Levski took the lead after Jose Cordoba’s unerring shot. This was followed by an uncompromising shot by Sisinho for 2:2.
Bilal Bari put Levski ahead on the scoresheet again after placing a fine shot into the bottom left corner of Padt. Igor Thiago coped with the pressure and shot in the middle – 3:3. Asen Mitkov stood to beat and decided to send the ball to Padt’s right, but the Dutchman reflected.
PEN / LUDOGORETS – LEVSKI 2:2
0:1 Georgi Milanov (41)
1:1 Kiril Despodov (69)
2:1 Kiril Despodov (72-penalty)
2:2 Kellyanne van der Kaap (90+3)
Referee: Georgi Kabakov (Plovdiv)
Stadium: “Vasil Levski” (Sofia)
Ludogorets: 1. Sergio Padt, 4. Sisinho