After Ludogorets Goalie Got Sent Off, Defender Who Replaced Him Made Two Saves in UCL Penalty Shootout (Videos)
When PFC Ludogorets Razgrad goalie Vladislav Stoyanov got sent off in the 119th minute of the team’s match against Steaua Bucharest yesterday, fans of the Bulgarian side probably thought their magical run was over.
Ludogorets finished first in Bulgaria’s top flight last season, but because Bulgaria isn’t exactly a powerhouse in European soccer, their domestic champions don’t get an automatic trip to the group stage of the UEFA Champions League. Instead they get a berth in the second of four qualifying rounds, where they have to fight it out with teams from other smalltime leagues.
This year, however, Ludogorets advanced all the way to the two-leg fourth qualifying round. A victory there, against Romanian side Steaua, would send them into the Champions League group stage for the first time in their history. And in the 90th minute of the second game, trailing Steaua by a goal, a Ludogorets substitute scored the equalizer, which must have sent Ludogorets fans into orbit.
However, in the 119th minute, after all their substitutions were used up, Ludogorets goalie Vladislav Stoyanov got sent off. That meant his team would have to put one of the guys already on the field in the goal for the shootout. And that, in all likelihood, meant Ludogorets would not be qualifying for the group stage of the Champions League.
Except that they did qualify for the group stage of the Champions League, because the guy they put in—defender Cosmin Moti—made not one but TWO saves in the penalty kick shootout.
Unfortunately, because UEFA is really uptight, there will soon be no video of this historic performance anywhere on the interwebs. However, for now they’re still here, so please take a look.
Here’s a video with the entire shootout, with Moti’s saves coming at the 7:43 and 14:49 marks:
And here’s a Vine featuring just the second, game-clinching save:
If you are a Ludogorets fan, this is your David Tyree helmet catch, or your David Freese triple in the bottom of the ninth in Game 6 of the World Series. It’s the moment you will never forget for as long as you live on this earth.
You gotta love it.
Hat Tip – [Daily Mail]