Atanasov Dyakov in action with Paul Heatley (Picture: Inpho/Stephen Hamilton)
Wednesday, 11 July 2018
Crusaders fell to a crushing UEFA Champions League defeat in Bulgaria after shipping seven goals without reply to Ludogorets in Razgrad.
Fielding a number of internationals, Ludogorets took the game to the Crues right from the start but they had to wait until the 25th minute to make their possession count when the Brazilian born Marcelinho turned to fire past Sean O'Neill.
That was how it stayed until just before the break when the unfortunate Rodney Brown directed the ball into his own net to double Ludogorets' advantage whilst attempting to clear another attack.
Experienced Romanian international Claudiu Keșerü headed a third beyond O'Neill early in the second half before Marcelinho doubled his tally just after the hour with a low drive into the bottom corner.
Moments later Polish frontman Jakub Świerczok replaced earlier scorer Keșerü and proceeded to knock home a blistering hat-trick in just seven minutes to add emphasis to Ludogorets already emphatic advantage.
He opened his tally on 73 minutes with a left-foot drive after chesting down a Marcelinho delivery, with his second arriving five minutes after that following a defensive lapse before claiming the match ball with a composed finish from a Natanael lay-off.
Crusaders welcome Ludogorets to Seaview for the return leg on Tuesday (17th), kick-off 8pm.
Ludogorets: Renan, Cicinho, Natanael Pimienta, Gustavo Campanharo, Dyakov, Keșerü, Moți, Marcelinho, Wanderson, Rafael Forster, Misidjan subs Broun (not used), Terziev (not used), Lucas Sasha (replaced Gustavo Campanharo 64), Panov (not used), João Paulo (not used), Swierczok (replaced Keșerü 68), Lukoki (replaced Wanderson 77)
Crusaders: O'Neill, Burns, Beverland, Lowry, Carvill, Caddell, Forsythe, J. Owens, Snoddy, Brown, Heatley subs Doherty (not used), Glackin (replaced Heatley 75), Cushley (not used), Holden (not used), K. Owens (replaced Caddell 59), Ruddy (not used), Clarke (replaced Carvill 76)
Referee: Dumitru Muntean
|Renan dos Santos|
|Neuciano de Jesus Gusmão|
|Natanael Batista Pimienta|
|Wanderson Cristaldo Farias||77|
|Marcelo Nascimento da Costa||25,66|
|Billy Joe Burns||14|
|Lucas Pacheco Affini||64|