Ireland - Bulgaria World Cup Qualifier Ends in 1:1 Draw
Bulgaria and the Republic of Ireland played to a 1:1 draw their World Cup Qualifier at Croke Park in Dublin Saturday night.
The match started badly for the Bulgarians as Ireland's Richard Dunne scored a header at the 40th second after the beginning of the game.
In the 16th minute, Bulgaria's left back Zhivko Milanov clashed with Ireland's Keith Andrews, and eventually had to be replaced by the Bulgarian veteran Radostin Kishishev.
By the end of the first half, the Bulgarian team dominated posession, and missed two good chances.
During the second half the game was played at a high tempo with both teams missing good opportunities. Bulgaria's goalkeeper, Dimitar Ivankov, saved several close strikes by Ireland's players.
After dominating much of the second half, the Bulgarians finally scored on the 74th minute when the shot of Bulgaria's captain from Aston Villa, Stiliyan Petrov, was deflected in by Kilbane, who scored an own goal.
Despite the dynamic and tough battle, the score remained unchanged by the end of the game. The 1:1 draw preserved Bulgaria's chances to qualify for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
Bulgaria played without its Manchester United star striker, Dimitar Berbatov.
Bulgaria is playing Cyprus at home in Sofia on Wednesday.
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