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Connah's Quay Nomads vs PFC Ludogorets Razgrad
Saturday 5th July 2014 | 2:30pm
Deeside Stadium, Connah's Quay | Attendance: 205
Deeside continued it's hosting of European opposition with a fixture against Bulgarian Champions PFC Ludogorets Razgrad on Saturday afternoon who ran out 7-0 winners.
A few days after Nomads 5-0 loss to Romanian giants Dinamo Bucharest, an even bigger challenged faced them in the form of Razgrad who will feature in the Champions League this season after finishing top of their league. Last season they hit the headlines after overcoming Italy's Lazio 4-3 on aggregate in the Europa League, before bowing out in the last 16 to Valencia.
Unphased by the challenge, Nomads focused on their own game with George Horan donning the captains armband, Mark McGregor and Ricky Evans all starting, with Academy Players Jack Chambers and Jordan Manley on the bench after making appearances against Bucharest on Wednesday night.
The first chance of the game fell to Nomads with Gary O Toole finding a square ball inside the 6 yard box only to scupper the shot and spare Ludogorets blushes early on. Minutes later, Virgil Misidjan had a long range effort go wide as his side began to use their vast passing capacity to control the game.
As Razgrad persisted, Nomads had every man behind the ball bar the striking duo of O' Toole and Evans. This defensive approach worked, with Nomads seeing out the first half hour of the game goalless despite chances from Lumu who almost opened the scoring when McCormick dropped the ball upon a save. Ludogorets were eventually rewarded for their perseverance when Pedro Avezedo Junior's header fooled the Nomads defence and hit the roof of the net to send his side 1-0 up.
Right before the half time whistle Ludogorets doubled their lead through Wanderson Farias via a great team goal, where impressive passing from the away side allowed Farias to cut through and slide the ball under McCormick to seal a 2-0 lead at half time.
The second half saw a revised Razgrad line up with a number of subs starting the second half. They began to press as they did in the first half, with McCormick coming out of his goal to nearly be beaten by a Razgrad striker. Mihail Alexandrov would have put his side up 3-0 had his shot not went way above the crossbar.
That goal came eventually after a settled period of the game which saw Razgrad established themselves further into the game. Hristo Zlantaski sent his side 3-0 with a goal he virtually passed beyond John Rushton from a close range. The sheer quality of the bulgarian champions began to show, as minutes later Marcelo Costa scored the fourth goal of the day before Daniel Paulos got his name on the scoresheet striking from the corner of the penalty area confirming a 5-0 lead for Ludogorets.
Despite the impressive score at full time, Razgrad may have felt they could have came away from Deeside with even more goals had John Rushton not made saves to keep out the likes of Guilherme Da Souza.
Towards the end of the game Anicet Abel's goal could not be kept out however, as his long range effort rolled into the bottom right corner of the net. Almost on the full time whistle, Ludogorets extended their lead even more when Daniel Paulos got his brace, confirming a 7-0 win for the champions league side.
This was a game where the quality of the opposition became too much for a Nomads side still merging together with a host new signings, but proved a great occasion to welcome such a prestitigous side into Deeside. On Friday Nomads play in a friendly Flintshire derby, facing Buckley Town at Chester Uni for a 7.00pm kick off.
Gary O Toole
Pedro Avezedo Junior
Daniel Paulos (2)