Bulgaria’s Ludogorets Beat Lazio in Rome
Bulgaria’s football champions Ludogorets Razgrad defeated Lazio 1:0 in Rome in the first leg of the 1/16 finals of the Europa League.
In an epic battle against one of Europe’s big clubs, Ludogorets held on to a narrow win, which gives them every chance to dream of progressing to the next round.
In the 9th minute, the Bulgarians earned a penalty kick, but the captain Svetoslav Dyakov missed. Despite that, they kept pushing forward and had a number of good chances, including a shot in the post.
The key moment for Ludogorets came in the 45th minute, when Roman Bezjak fired a powerful shot from outside the penalty box, which left Lazio’s goalkeeper stunned.
Things started very badly for the Bulgarian champions in the second half. This time it was Lazio who were given a penalty kick in the 50th minute. The hero of the moment was Vladislav Stoyanov – the Bulgarian goalkeeper who saved the shot of Anderson.
Just 5 minutes later, Svetoslav Dyakov’s night got even worse as he was sent off for a second yellow card.
Playing with 10 men, Ludogorets had to defend for much of the following minutes.
The drama was not to end there. In the 73rd minute, Candava of Lazio was expelled with a direct red card for kicking Yordan Minev in the face, and both teams played the rest of the match with a man short.
Stoyanov had a few more key saves to make until the end, in order to earn himself the ‘man of the match’ award.
The second leg of the fixture will be played in Sofia next Thursday. A draw would be enough for Ludogorets to make it to the 1/8 finals of the tournament.