Minev secures historic victory for Ludogorets against Basel


Yordan Minev's last-gasp strike lifted Ludogorets to a famous Champions League victory over 10-man Basle. The full-back fired low into the net from distance in the first minute of stoppage time to give his side a 1-0 triumph and ensure they became the first side from Bulgaria to take a point in the group stage of Europe's elite club competition. Ludogorets are now level on points with Group B rivals Liverpool and Basle, whose hopes of coming away from Razgrad with something were dealt a blow by the harsh dismissal of Serey Die after just 18 minutes. Seeking to build on their surprise win over Liverpool last time out, the visitors were on the front foot from the off as Breel Embolo tested Vladislav Stoyanov in the opening couple of minutes. The Ludogorets goalkeeper also denied the Switzerland Under-21 international's strike moments later from the edge of the area. It was the Bulgarian champions who came closest to breaking the deadlock in the opening stages, though, as Marcelinho's header forced Basle custodian Tomas Vaclik to tip away. Georgi Dermendzhiev's men were then given a helping hand by referee Deniz Aytekin when Basle were reduced to 10 men after only 18 minutes. Die's late challenge on Cosmin Moti did not appear to be rash, but Aytekin thought it merited a straight red card, which left Basle largely on the back foot for the remainder of the match. Vaclik denied Marcelinho's effort from just outside the box, although at the other end Derlis Gonzalez's strike after a breakaway was well saved by Stoyanov. The lively Marcelinho continued to cause problems in Basle's defence and only a last-ditch challenge from Mohamed El-Nenny prevented him from getting a shot away. Ludogorets continued their charge after the interval as Dani Abalo's effort was tipped over by Vaclik, who then twice thwarted Fabio Espinho. Basle were being pinned into their own half as the half went on but chances were at a premium in the final half-hour. Even when Ludogorets found some space, they found Vaclik in excellent form as the Basle goalkeeper stopped another Marcelinho strike from distance before then denying substitute Farias Wanderson's shot from a decent position. Yet just as it seemed they would have to settle for a share of the spoils, Minev finally broke through, drilling low past Vaclik from all of 25 yards to secure a memorable three points.