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Blog - The Toe Poke

Ludogorets defender scores and saves two during shoot-out

In the 89th minute of their UEFA Champions League playoff second leg, Bulgarian side Ludogorets Razgrad looked all but certain to miss out on the competition's lucrative group stage. They trailed Steaua Bucharest 1-0 on aggregate with a minute to play. Then a series of strange things happened.

For starters, 26-year-old Brazilian Farias Wanderson struck from 20 yards with an impeccably taken volley to put Ludogorets up 1-0 and level the aggregate score at one apiece. To extra time the match went.

Then, with just a minute remaining in extra time, Ludogorets goalkeeper Vladislav Stoyanov took down Steaua's onrushing defender Fernando Varela just outside the area. It was a clear goal-scoring opportunity, and Stoyanov was sent off. Defender Cosmin Moti took over the gloves and donned the reserve keeper's shirt as the match moved on to penalties, and set up a very special ending.

Oh, and what the highlights don't reveal is that Moti scored a penalty of his own and then saved another on top of his match-winning stop. Needless to say, we'll be keeping our eyes on Ludogorets in the group stages.

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