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Ludogorets retain Bulgarian title

"We have to enjoy the moment," said Ivaylo Petev after his PFC Ludogorets Razgrad side leapfrogged PFC Levski Sofia on the last day of the Bulgarian season to retain their title.

Ivaylo Petev also led Ludogorets to the title last season
Ivaylo Petev also led Ludogorets to the title last season ©Getty Images

PFC Ludogorets Razgrad have clinched the Bulgarian title for the second consecutive season after leapfrogging PFC Levski Sofia in a dramatic final round of matches.

Levski began the day a point clear in top spot and needing a win at home against PFC Slavia Sofia to claim their 27th championship crown, while Ludogorets travelled to face already relegated PFC Montana 1921. Levski promptly took the lead via Basile De Carvalho's close-range effort shortly after the half-hour, but, just as they seemed to be cruising to victory, defender Dimitar Vezalov scored an own goal 16 minutes from time.

With Ludogorets comfortably winning 3-0 at Montana, Levski gave everything in search of what would have been a title winner, but Slavia managed to hold onto the draw. "It's unbelievable," said Ludogorets coach Ivaylo Petev, his team having dropped from the summit when they succumbed 1-0 to Levski last Saturday. "To win the league title twice on the last day is incredible. Now we have to enjoy the moment."

"We should have scored two or three goals as we controlled the game, but that didn't happen," commented Petev's Levski counterpart Nikolay Mitov, whose side lost the Bulgarian Cup final to PFC Beroe Stara Zagora ten days ago.

Levski will have to console themselves with a spot in UEFA Europa League qualifying next term along with Beroe and PFC CSKA Sofia, while Ludogorets will enter UEFA Champions League qualifying. At the opposite end of the table, OFC Botev Vratsa suffered relegation, with Montana, PFC Minior Pernik and FC Etar Veliko Tarnovo already down.