Champions League

Ludogorets must get second spot

2014-10-03 09:47
Ludogorets Razgrad (AFP/Getty Images)
Ludogorets Razgrad (AFP/Getty Images)
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While Cristiano Ronaldo missed a penalty (and scored a second one) in the Champions League against Ludogorets, British comedian Joe Weller pretended to be the Portuguese star and tried to chat up a few girls. Watch how it goes......

Sofia - The owner of Champions League debutants Ludogorets are not fazed by their opening defeats to five-times winners Liverpool and defending champions Real Madrid and said the team must qualify for the knockout stages.

"We're chasing the second place, it's a matter of life and death," Kiril Domuschiev told local media on Friday, two days after Ludogorets impressed before losing 2-1 to Real on their home debut in the group phase.

"Nothing else interests me, I've already said that to the boys," the wealthy Bulgarian businessman added. "We've already played two matches in the group stage and we saw what it's about."

Real top the standings in Group B with six points from two matches, followed by FC Basel and Liverpool on three with the top two going into the last 16 and third place entering the Europa League.

Two weeks ago, the unheralded Bulgarian champions impressed with their tenacity and ball skills, only losing 2-1 to Liverpool after a penalty in stoppage time in a pulsating match at Anfield.

Ludogorets's rise from obscurity began four years ago, when Domuschiev took over the club, based in the small north-eastern town of Razgrad, and his investments started to pay dividends.

The Eagles have since had the upper hand over traditional powerhouses of Bulgarian football -- CSKA Sofia and their bitter city rivals Levski -- winning three successive league titles and reaching the Europa League's last 16 last season.

"I don't want to talk about winning a point, but something bigger," said Domuschiev, who began investing in the club mainly because his pharmaceutical company was based in Razgrad.

"I want the second place, Ludogorets will get stronger."

Straight-talking Domuschiev said he was saddened to see Ludogorets end empty-handed against Real after taking the lead, adding some refereeing decisions went against them.

"The referee supported Real," said Domuschiev.

Scottish official Craig Thompson awarded the Spaniards two penalties after Ludogorets's early strike.

Ludogorets, who are only the second Bulgarian club to compete in the group phase after Levski in 2006, host FC Basel on Oct. 22 and then visit the Swiss champions on Nov. 4 before playing at home against Liverpool.

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