Real Betis achieved a hard-fought 3-2 win against Ludogorets at the Benito Villamarin Stadium in a Europa League Group C match. The Bulgarian champions may regret not walking away with anything from Sevilla as they squandered a great opportunity in stoppage time when Danny Gropper made a huge miss on his own against Claudio Bravo.
Manuel Shaw fouled Paul Akuoku in the 2nd minute and received a yellow card.
Andres Guardado took a serious shot from distance in the 15th minute, but Sergio Padt saved.
Bernard Tekpetei opened up space for a shot in the 23rd minute, but Claudio Bravo was alert and cleared for a corner.
Betis took a 1-0 lead in the 25th minute. Sergio Canales hit a powerful shot from distance and Sergio Padt intervened and boxed the ball. But it fell to Juan Miranda, who tried to shoot but found Luis Enrique, who headed the ball under the crossbar. Sisinho failed to intervene and prevent Luis Enrique from sending the ball into the goal of Ludogorets.
Ludogorets made a very serious mistake in the 29th minute. The ball fell to Cauley Oliveira who shot but his shot was blocked by Claudio Bravo.
Joaquin scored a superb goal in the 39th minute and Betis doubled their lead. Joaquin took a diagonal shot from the edge of the Ludogorets penalty area and put the ball into the left corner of Padt’s goal.
Kiril Despodov received a yellow card for simulation in the 41st minute.
Ludogorets brought back the intrigue in the match in the first minute of added time of the first part. Kiril Despodov surprised Claudio Bravo. Despodov fired from a direct free kick and the ball crossed the goal line, despite the intervention of the Chilean goalkeeper, and referee Andris Treimanis pointed to the center.
Sergio Canales sent a very dangerous shot from the edge of the Ludogorets penalty area in the 47th minute, but Sergio Padt intervened decisively and cleared for a corner.
Ludogorets organized a very dangerous counterattack in the 49th minute. Cowley passed to Igor Thiago in the Betis box and he shot, but Claudio Bravo intervened and cleared for a corner.
A minute later, Kiril Despodov passed to Cowley, who crossed into the Betis penalty area, where Igor Thiago rose above everyone to head but straight into the hands of Claudio Bravo.
Real Betis made a very serious mistake in the 52nd minute. Willian Jose passed to Juan Miranda, who was in an excellent position in the Ludogorets penalty area, but fired over the crossbar for an out.
Bernard Tekpetei received a yellow card in the 53rd minute for a foul on Miranda.
Real Betis took a 3:1 lead in the 59th minute. Sergio Canales put the ball between Jakub Piotrowski’s legs, then shot from distance, Sergio Padt didn’t do his best, the ball went through his hands and into his goal.
Anton Nedyalkov and Andres Guardado collided in the Betis penalty area before the corner kick, for which both received yellow cards.
Ludogorets again reduced its deficit to one goal in the match in the 75th minute. Rick Jonathan shot from about 20 meters and sent the ball into the bottom right corner of Claudio Bravo, who did not intervene in the best way.
Rodri shot from the edge of the Ludogorets penalty area in the 81st minute, after which Sergio Padt stepped in and cleared for a corner.
Ludogorets had a great opportunity to equalize in the third minute of stoppage time when Cauley Oliveira fed Danny Gropper, who beat a Betis player and was alone with Claudio Bravo, but fired wide of the right side post.
Real Betis leads Group C with 6 points, while Ludogorets and Roma have 3 each and HIK Helsinki has 0.
On October 6, Ludogorets visits HIK in Helsinki, and Betis visits Roma.
Real Betis – Ludogorets 3:2
1:0 Luis Enrique 25′
2:0 Joaquin Sanchez 39′
2:1 Kiril Despodov 45+1′
3:1 Sergio Canales 59′
3:2 Rick Jonathan 75′
Real Betis: 1. Claudio Bravo – 24. Aitor Rubial, 19. Luis Filipe (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. Rodri) – 12 Willian Jose
Subs: 13. Rui Silva, 25. Danny Martin, 9. Borja Iglesias, 32. Fran Delgado
head coach: Manuel Pellegrini
Ludogorets: 1. Sergio Padt – 16. Aslak Von Vitry (62′ – 14. Denny Gropper), 24. Olivier Verdon, 3. Anton Nedyalkov, 4. Sisinho – 6. Jakub Piotrowski, 23. Manuel Shaw (62′ – 20 . Nonato) – 37. Bernard Tekpetei (70′ – 73. Rick Jonathan), 95. Cauley Oliveira, 11. Kiril Despodov (69′ – 90. Spas Delev) – 9. Igor Thiago (80′ – 10. Matias Tissera)
Reserves: 12. Simon Sluga, 67. Damian Hristov, 5. Georgi Terziev, 10. Matias Tissera, 32. Igor Plastun, 64. Dominic Yankov, 82. Ivan Yordanov
head coach: Ante Shimunja
referee: Andris Treimanis (Latvia)
Kiril Despodov: We should be proud of our performance against Betis
Shimunja: Before the bands started, we were outsiders
Anton Nedyalkov: We managed to outplay Betis
Cowley: Our heads stayed high when we got the goals
Joaquin: Ludogorets played a very strong match
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