Friday, July 19, 2019

Bulgaria Update

Our old friends from PFC Ludogorets Razgrad have now won the top division of Bulgarian soccer for eight years in a row.  Every time they win, they qualify for the UEFA Champions League.  And several times, we have chased their progress as they attempt to make it to the group stages of that league -- an accomplishment roughly similar to having Murray State make the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Basketball Tournament.

In 2013-14, they got to within one round of the group stages, before losing to Basel (SUI) by 2-6 over two legs.

In 2014-15, they won a thrilling playoff to reach the group stages, where they went 1-4-1 against Basel, Real Madrid, and Liverpool.

In 2016-17, they returned to the group stages, where they went 0-3-3 against Basel, Paris-St. Germain, and Arsenal.  Their third-place finish in the group is the best result in the history of Bulgarian club football.

Since then, they have not made it back to the group stages.  This year, they didn't stay in the Champions' League for very long.  In the first qualifying round, they were put up against Ferencvaros, the champions of Hungary.  On July 10, in Budapest, Ferencvaros got a goal in the 65th minute to take a 2-1 victory.  On July 17, the teams met in Razgrad for the return match.  Ferencvaros jumped out to a quick 2-goal lead after only 21 minutes, and held on for a 3-2 victory.  So Ferencvaros won the two-leg match by the aggregate score of 5-3.  They advance to play Valetta, the champions of Malta, while Ludogorets will wait for next year.

No comments:

Post a Comment