Soccer Sees Champions League Thriller in Sofia

Steven Petrov
The Paw Print

PFC Ludogoretz Razgrad  1:0  FC Steaua București
(7:5 after penalty shootout)

Champions league is the biggest and most prestigious soccer tournament in the world. Clubs from all over Europe fight the whole season to win their respective leagues within their countries, hoping to have the chance to compete in UEFA Champions league in the following season. The Bulgarian champions in the last 3 years, PFC Ludogoretz Razgrad, had to face the Romanian champion, FC Steaua București, in a two-leg competition to determine who will enter the most prestigious soccer tournament’s group stage for 2014/2015 Champions League season. Each of the two teams had a home and away game. FC Steaua București managed to win with 1:0 in the first leg of their clash with the Bulgarian champions, but what the Bulgarians did in Sofia on August 27th was truly spectacular and definitely got into the Champions League’s history books as one of the most dramatic games in the history.
In Bucharest, the capital of Romania, on August 19th, the home team from Steaua played better and had more opportunities to score, which they rightfully did in the 88th minute of the game. Up until the goal the Bulgarian defense, including the goalkeeper Vladislav Stoyanov, did almost the impossible to keep the ball away from PFC Ludogoretz Razgrad’s goal, saving a penalty and stopping multiple dangerous shots. However the Bulgarians lost dramatically in the last few seconds of the game and needed a must-home win in order to qualify for the group stage. On August 27th in a game play on the Bulgarian National stadium “Vasil Levski” Ludogoretz started up slow and allowed some opportunities in front of their goal. However, during the second part of the 1st half and throughout the whole second half the Bulgarians were the team that deserved the win the most. Unfortunately for the home team they couldn’t break FC Steaua București’s defense regardless of the multiple chances Ludogoretz created. The game was in its closing minutes and PFC Ludogoretz Razgrad needed at least one goal to send the game into overtime. When everything was seemingly “done” that is when the magic began.
In the 90th minute, after a truly phenomenal volley from outside of the 18-yard box, the midfielder Wanderson scored the equalizer and kept his team in the fight for their spot in Champions league. After two 15-minute overtimes with the score still being tied at 1:1 on aggregate, everyone was anticipating a penalty shootout. However, in the 119th minute after a perfect through ball, Steaua’s forward found himself 1v1 with Ludogoretz’s goalkeeper Vladislav Stoyanov. After seeing that the forward was most likely going to score, the goalkeeper fouled him and got a straight red card with a minute left before the penalty-shootout began. The worst was yet to come because Georgi Dermenzhiev, Ludogoretz’s coach had already made all of his substitutions and now was left without a keeper for the most important part of the game. Then the defender Cosmin Moti, who is ironically from Romania but plays for the Bulgarian champion, put the gloves on and went in goal. He not only scored the first penalty for his team but also saved 2 of Steaua’s shots and singlehandedly qualified PFC Ludogoretz Razgrad for the group stage of the most prestigious soccer tournament in the world. Just as a curious fact, these two saves that the defender, who had never played keeper before, made brought his club €8,600,000 in revenue from making it in the group stage. This is just one more example showing how intense, exciting, and dramatic soccer can be. is powered by WordPress µ | Spam prevention powered by Akismet