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Botev - Arda

Botev - Arda

Botev ended the season with a loss to Arda

Botev (Plovdiv) ended the 2023/24 season with a home loss against Arda with 0:1. The match of the 36th round of the championship was played at Hristo Botev Stadium, and the only goal of the match was scored by Tonislav Yordanov in the first half.

The match will be remembered mostly as a benefit for Lachezar Baltanov’s first team. The captain of the “Canaries” played his last game for the representative team and will be a playing assistant coach in the reserve team from next season.

In match match, Dušan Kerkez bet on an extremely young team, which included some debutants. Botev has already done the hard job this season, winning the Bulgarian Cup and securing a place in Europe for next year, which meant the Canaries just had to finish the season in the championship.

Only 3′ after the start, the “yellow-black” created the first goal chance of the match. Martin Sekulic was brought out alone against the Arda goalkeeper by Dimitar Papazov. However, the Croatian was unable to overcome Anatoly Gospodinov.

Arda responded with a shot from a serious distance by Lachezar Kotev in 7′. However, the ball flew far from Stefan Smerkalev’s goal.

In the 32′, the scenario was repeated again, and this time the execution was inaccurate.

However, Arda’s pressure gave a result in 37′. A misunderstanding in Botev’s defense allowed Tonislav Yordanov to be left unmarked in the box and from close range he made no mistake to put Arda ahead on the scoresheet.

Botev responded with a shot from Sekulic just minutes later, but the effort was not enough.

In the second half, the “canaries” tried to raise the tempo, but Arda showed a good defensive game.

The most memorable moment of the second half occurred in 87′, when the legendary Lachezar Baltanov was substituted and sent of by both players and fans on their feet. All payers on the field and both benches organized a backdrop for the midfielder leaving the field, who will go down in history as Botev’s footballer with the most awards – two Bulgarian Cups and one Bulgarian Super Cup.

The final 1:0 for Arda was preserved, with which Botev ended the season with a defeat.

In the end, the Canaries finished 9th with 45 points from 36 games. The season will also go down in history with the won Bulgarian Cup – the 4th overall in the team’s showcase. Thanks to the success in the Bulgarian Cup, Botev qualified for Europe, and next season will also participate in the match for the Bulgarian Super Cup.

BOTEV’S STARTING LINE-UP: 77. Stefan Smerkalev – 2. Kostadin Tatarov (88′ – 15. Petar Ivanov), 43. Miroslav Georgiev, 3. Emmanuel John, 42. Ivaylo Videv, 18. Dimitar Papazov – 44. Biser Bonev, 30 Lachezar Baltanov (88′ – 45. Gabriel Zlatanov), 28. Yanis Karabelyov (88′ – 11. Yordan Aivazov) – 14. Faustas Steponavichus (61′ – 29. Ilanda Kintuntu), 9. Martin Sekulic (71′ – 46 Emil Naydenov).

RESERVES: 84. Deniz Rusev, 7. Konstantin Pavlov, 17. Nikolay Minkov, 25. Dimitar Dikliev.

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