By Mazi Jaka
The team of Botev (Plovdiv) showed a fighting character and did not lose their visit over Levski in Sofia. The match from the 17th round of the First League was played at the “Vivacom Arena – Georgi Asparuhov” stadium.
The match began with a one-minute silence in memory of Ferrario Spasov – one of the successful coaches in the history of Botev (Plovdiv). Ferrario Spasov died in a road accident on November 11th. He was the head of the “canaries” twice, he was also the head of our children’s and youth school.
PFK Botev expresses its sincere condolences to the family and relatives of Ferrario Spasov.
Levski took the lead in the 19th minute of the match after Tsunami’s header. By the end of the first half, both teams made it an interesting match with chances in front of both goals.
The second half started very strongly for the “canaries” who immediately rushed in search of an equalizer and imposed a press on the “blues”.
In the 57th minute, a wonderful pass by the team captain Ivelin Popov found Baroan, who technically controlled the ball, shot and hit the goal of Plamen Andreev for 1-1 in the match. Over 3 minutes the situation was reviewed by the VAR system, but in the end the goal was counted.
In the 65th minute of the match, Patrick-Gabriel Galchev reached out to Yanis Karabelov in the penalty area – Nikola Popov awarded a penalty to Botev. More than 3 minutes of reviewing the situation followed, VAR-judge Draganov called Popov to see the situation in the penalty area, and then Nikola Popov strangely canceled his decision.
Botev continued to dictate the pace in the second half and in the 72nd minute, Ivelin Popov sent a powerful shot towards the goal of Plamen Andreev, who managed to keep his goal dry. In the 77th minute, the main referee of the match, Nikola Popov, once again caused discussions after, instead of a clean foul for Botev, he awarded a foul for Levski. Botev coach Dusan Kerkez received a yellow card after the situation.
In the 78th minute, Ricardinho tried his luck with a shot from outside the box, but the ball hit the left side post of Hidayet Hankic’s goal.
By the end of the match, Botev had a great opportunity to score after a pass from Ivelin Popov found substitute Martin Sekulich, who failed to overcome a Levski defender, leaving him face-to-face with Plamen Andreev.
At the very end of the match, Jeremy Petris and Dylan Mertens got into a serious fight in the center of the pitch, and Nikola Popov showed yellow cards to both players.