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Ludogorets lost 2:3 away to Betis from the second round of the Europa League group stage. The “Eagles” played to a draw against the third in the provisional standings in La Liga and can only regret that they did not get at least a point from the Benito Villamarin stadium in Seville, where there were over 43 thousand spectators.
In the third minute of added time, Denny Gruper, who appeared as a reserve for the Bulgarian champion, squandered a golden chance and could not sign after he found himself face to face with Claudio Bravo. The experienced Chilean keeper, who is a former Barcelona and Manchester City player, was decisive on several occasions, saving a number of dangers in front of his goal. However, Bravo was punished by Kiril Despodov in the added time of the first part for 2:1 and by Rick Jonathan in the 74th minute.
They were accurate for Manuel Pellegrini’s team Luis Enrique in the 25th minute, Joaquin, 41, in the 39th and Sergio Canales in the 59th.
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Ludogorets pulled off a surprise last week when they beat Jose Mourinho’s Roma 2-1. The “Eagles” also showed Betis that they are a classy team, making it difficult for them as much as possible. A week ago, Pellegrini’s alumni dealt with HIK Helsinki as a guest, winning 2:0.
With a total asset of 6 points, Betis is the leader in the group, second is Ludogorets with 3, as many as there are Roma after beating HIK Helsinki 3-0 in Rome tonight.
For the visit to Spain, Ludogorets coach Ante Szymunja bet on the goal of Sergio Padt, and in front of him – Aslak von Vitri, Anton Nedyalkov, Olivier Verdon and Sisinho. Manuel Shaw, Cowley Oliveira and Jakub Piotrowski started in midfield. In leading positions were Kiril Despodov, Bernard Tekpetei and Igor Tiago.
Pellegrini gave a chance to some of the players who play less often in La Liga. The most curious name among the starters was 41-year-old Joaquin Sanchez.
In the opening minutes, the home team applied serious pressure, but the “eagles” held on without creating any danger in front of Sergio Padt. Gradually, the game leveled out and Ludogorets began to look bolder at Claudio Bravo’s goal. In the 15th minute, Igor Thiago could have opened the scoring but sent the ball inches wide of the right-hand post after being put in a good position in the Betis penalty area. Seconds later, however, the referee called for offside, but the situation would have been dealt with by VAR if the ball had ended up in the net.
In the 23rd minute, Bravo saved Tekpetei’s shot, and in the 25th, the home team took the lead. A long-range shot was cleared by Padt, but the ball again fell to a home player – Miranda, who passed to the onrushing Luis Enrique, who beat Sisinho to make it 1-0.
Shortly after, Cauley Oliveira missed a good opportunity to equalize. The player of the “Eagles” shot, but Bravo was able to deflect.
In the 39th minute, 41-year-old Joaquin made it 2:0. The favorite of the Betis fans sent the ball into Padt’s goal with an excellent parabolic shot that left no chance to the guard of the Bulgarian champions.
In the added time of the first part, Kiril Despodov reduced the deficit of Ludogorets – 2:1. Our national team shot from a small angle from a direct free kick, Bravo cleared the ball but it had gone behind the goal line and referee Andris Treimanis pointed to the centre.
The second half was even more intriguing, and Ante Shimunja’s men kept pace with the Spanish team. Igor Thiago missed two good chances shortly after the break.
In the 59th minute, however, Betis scored a third goal. Sergio Canales made a long shot on the ground, the ball went between Piotrowski’s legs and through Padt’s hands before flying into his goal – 3:2.
In the 74th, the “Eagles” again reduced. A cross from a corner was followed by a ball that fell into the reserve Rick Jonathan, who with a kick on the ground from the edge of the penalty area punished Bravo. Until the end, the players of Ludogorets pressed the opponent and can only regret that they did not take at least a point after missing more opportunities. The cleanest of them was in the third minute of added time. Cauley Oliveira passed to the reserve Danny Gruper, who overcame an opponent and went alone against Bravo, but he shot wide of the goal and the match ended 3:2 for Betis.
The next two matches of Ludogorets in the Europa League are against HIK – on October 6 in Finland and on October 13 in Razgrad.
BETIS – LUDOGORETS 3:2
1:0 Luis Enrique (25), 2:0 Joaquin (39), 2:1 Kiril Despodov (45+1), 3:1 Sergio Canales (59), 3:2 Rick Jonathan (74)
Highlights of the match by minutes:
1 – Start of the meeting.
2 First yellow card, received by Manuel Shaw after a collision with Paul Akuoku. The two clashed in an aerial duel for the ball, with referee Andris Treimanis of Latvia deciding to penalize the Ludogorets player.
11 – Luis Enrique goes down for a penalty, claiming a foul on Cicinho, the referee signals for play to continue.
15 Andres Guardado takes a long shot, Sergio Padt catches the ball.
15 Igor Tiago miss! The cleanest goal situation in the match. Tecpetei brought Igor Thiago to the right of the Betis penalty area, the Ludogorets striker went past goalkeeper Claudio Bravo and fired a shot from a small angle but wide of the mark. After that, the side referee picked up an ambush on the Brazilian footballer of the “Eagles”.
23 Tekpetei’s shot, the ball flew into the bottom left corner for Bravo, who saved.
25 GOAL! 1:0 for Betis after Luis Enrique’s goal. A long-range shot was cleared by Padt, but the ball again fell to a home player and Miranda passed to the onrushing Luis Enrique, who beat Cicinho to score.
30 Cauley Oliveira missed an excellent chance to equalise, Bravo was able to save his shot.
39 GOAL! Veteran Joaquin made it 2-0. The 41-year-old Spaniard decided to shoot from distance diagonally and sent the ball into the far corner of Sergio Padt.
42 Yellow card for Despodov for simulation in front of the penalty area of Betis.
45+1 GOOOOOL! Kiril Despodov reduced the score, Betis lead 2:1. The Bulgarian international shot from a direct free kick, Claudio Bravo cleared the ball, but it had gone behind goal line and referee Andris Treimanis pointed to the center, and the “Eagles” rejoiced.
45+2 – End of the first half.
46 – Start of the second half.
49 A new chance for Ludogorets. Five of the “Eagles” broke away against four of Betis on the counter-attack, Igor Thiago received a pass on the right and shot, Bravo managed to save.
50 Igor Thiago headed in a cross from the right, the Chilean keeper caught the ball.
59 GOAL! 3-1 to Betis after Sergio Canales hit a long-range shot on the ground, the ball went between Piotrowski’s legs and through Padt’s hands before flying into his goal.
70 Ante Shimundza released Spas Delev and Rick Jonathan. Despodov and Tekpetei were replaced.
71 Yellow card for Manuel Pellegrini, who had intended to replace Joaquin, but subsequently stopped the substitution shortly before the veteran left the pitch. The referee sanctioned the coach of Betis.
72 Joaquin still exits the game, robbing the crowd of applause. Rodri appeared in the game, as did Pesella, who replaced Luis Felipe.
74 Yellow cards for Anton Nedyalkov and Andres Guardado, who interfered in front of the Eagles’ goal.
74 GOOOOOL! Rick Jonathan, who appeared a little earlier, scores and Betis now leads by only 3:2. The Ludogorets player shot from about 20 meters and sent the ball into the bottom right corner of Bravo.
80 Matias Tissera came on for the Eagles, Igor Thiago was replaced.
87 – Cowley’s sharp cross, Matias Tissera fails to clear the ball in front of Bravo who catches it.
90 – Added time is 5 minutes.
90+3 Big miss of the “eagles”! Danny Grupper squandered an excellent chance to equalize after getting in front of Claudio Bravo, but sent the ball inches wide of his right-hand post.
90+5 – End of the match. Ludogorets lost 2:3 away to Betis.
BETIS: 1. Claudio Bravo 24. Aitor Rubial 19. Louis Philippe (72 16.Herman Pesella), 3.Edgar Gonzalez, 33.Juan Miranda, 4.Paul Akuoku (56 5. Guido Rodriguez), 18. Andres Guardado, 11. Luis Enrique (85 15.Alex Moreno), 10.Sergio Canales (85 14.William Carvalho), 17.Joaquin (k) (72 28. Rhodri), 12. Willian Jose
Subs: 13. Rui Silva, 25. Dani Martin, 5. Guido Rodriguez, 9. Borja Iglesias, 14. William Carvalho, 15. Alex Moreno, 16. Herman Pesella, 28. Rodri, 32. Fran Delgado
Coach: Manuel Pellegrini
LUDOGORETS: 1.Sergio Padt, 16.Aslak Von Vitry (62 14.Denny Gruper), 24.Olivier Verdon, 3.Anton Nedyalkov (k), 4.Sisinho, 6.Jakub Piotrowski, 23.Manuel Shaw (62 20. Nonato), 37. Bernard Tekpetei (70 73. Rick Jonathan ), 95. Cowley Oliveira, 11. Kirill Despodov (70 90. Spas Delev), 9. Igor Tiago (80 10. Matthias Tissera)
Reservations: 12. Simon Sluga, 67. Damian Hristov, 5. Georgi Terziev, 10. Matias Tissera, 14. Deni Gruper, 20. Nonato, 32. Igor Plastun, 64. Dominic Yankov, 73. Rick Jonathan, 82. Ivan Yordanov, 90. Spas Delev
Trainer: Ante Shimunja
SevilleBenito Villamarin Stadium
Judge: Andris Treimanis (Latvia)
Legend: – goal, – own goal, – yellow card, – second yellow card, – Red card, – shift, – dangerous situation, – an injury
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