PFC Beroe Stara Zagora clinched their first Bulgarian Super Cup crown courtesy of a 5-4 penalty shoot-out triumph over champions PFC Ludogorets Razgrad.
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PFC Beroe Stara Zagora clinched their first Bulgarian Super Cup title thanks to a penalty shoot-out victory over PFC Ludogorets Razgrad following a 1-1 draw after 90 minutes.
Cup holders Beroe started the game on the front foot and came close to an opener in the third minute but Zdravko Iliev's effort came back off the crossbar. They continued to control the game and were rewarded for their dominance in the 27th minute when Vetsislav Hristov headed in David Caiado's cross from the right with help of a deflection. Champions Ludogorets came close to an immediate response only for Ivan Stoyanov's strike to hit a post.
Ludogorets were not to be denied, though, and were level just before the break thanks to the sharp reactions of captain Svetolsav Dyakov, who was first to react when the Beroe goalkeeper spilled a header. Dyakov was in the spotlight again just before the hour when he was dismissed for a second bookable offence in the space of nine minutes. Beroe failed to make the most of their numerical advantage, however, and had defender Borislav Stoychev sent off just six minutes later.
With no extra time played, the game went straight to a penalty shoot-out, in which Marcelinho missed for Ludogorets and Beroe held their nerve, just as they did in the cup final against against PFC Levski Sofia two months ago.
"We won because we have tremendous team spirit and togetherness," said Beroe coach Petar Hubchev. "We play with discipline, we work hard and we always give it our all. We have won now two trophies after penalty shoot-outs and if we are to win more silverware, let it be without shoot-outs."
Beroe begin their UEFA Europa League campaign in the second qualifying round against Hapoel Tel Aviv FC on 18 July while Ludogorets start in the UEFA Champions league second qualifying round at ŠK Slovan Bratislava the day before.