The Paw Print
PFC Ludogoretz could be the “Costa Rica” of the 2014/2015 Champions League season
The Bulgarian champions, PFC Ludogoretz, have impressed the soccer world after the first 2 games in the 2014/2015 Champions League season. The “Eagles” ended up in one toughest groups with teams like Real Madrid C.F., Liverpool FC, and FC Basel.
The Bulgarians had to face the two main favorites in the group, Real Madrid C.F. and Liverpool FC, where everyone expected them to be completely crushed by their “world class” opponents. However, the outcomes of PFC Ludogoretz’s visit on Anfield (2:1 loss with a penalty kick given to Liverpool in the stoppage time) and the 1:2 loss at home against the giants from Real Madrid CF showed that the Bulgarian champions are not a team that should be underestimated.
The final scores of these games don’t fully represent what actually happened on the field, where the Bulgarians deserved at least a point for their inspired and quality performance against these world class football clubs.
After the game between PFC Ludogoretz and Real Madrid CF played on Wednesday, October 1st, ESPN made an analogy that throughout this Champions League season the Bulgarian team could take a role that Costa Rica had in the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. What the famous media meant with that was that the fighting spirit and the compact and dangerous style of playing that PFC Ludogoretz has reminds fans of the South-American team which surprised everyone and almost qualified for the semi-finals in the World Cup.
It is a fact that the European champions from Madrid had many chances to score, but an exceptionally compact and tough defensive play stopped Real’s superstars from putting the ball in the back of the net on many occasions. The home team also created many goal-scoring opportunities and even managed to score first in the 6th minute.
What would eventually turn out to be a really questionable referring began in the 10th minute, when, after a through ball from Luka Modric, Cristiano Ronaldo found himself in the 18-yard box where he fell too soft and the visitors got an undeserved penalty and a chance to equalize.
However, Stoyanov (PFC Ludogoretz’s goalkeeper), who blocked the shot showing its team that “mission impossible” is within reach, stopped the Portuguese superstar from scoring. The game went back and forth, and the visitors from Madrid controlled the possession and had more shots, but the “eagles” were really organized on the counter attack, forcing Casillas to make some big saves.
The referring was really questionable, which was commented on even from the game’s official commentators. It seemed that each call was going against the home side. In the 24th minute Real Madrid CF got a 2nd chance to score from a penalty kick after Ronaldo fell in the box again.
This time the 2013 World’s best player didn’t miss and equalized. With both teams creating chances, it looked “fair” for both teams to draw and get a point from that game.
However, as we know in soccer, there is no such thing as “fair,” and the visitors from Madrid managed to utilize one of the many chances they created throughout the second half in the 77th minute when Karim Benzema scored the game winner.
Regardless of the fact that the absolute rookie in UCL, PFC Ludogoretz, currently stands on 2 losses on the bottom of Group B, the Bulgarian champions can still bring a surprise and upset some of the favorites in the group.