Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Well, here are moments from the season:
Hristo Bonev scores yet another goal, but is right to worry: he was to be neither top goalscorer, nor champion in his perhaps finest season. Splendid player and terrible person, Bonev led Lokomotiv (Plovdiv) to their best achievement – second place in the final table. However, 8 points behind CSKA… Petar Zhekov fights with Georgiev of Dunav (Rousse). The match ended in scoreless tie, as if to suggest that Zhekov’s days were coming to end: he increasingly depended on goals scored against lowly opponents. And not always anymore… but he was made top goalscorer, robbing Bonev from that. As for Dunav: they appeared strong during the season. Only to be relegated for bribery after.On top – CSKA against one of their most difficult opponents: Lokomotiv (Sofia), who traditionally played their best football against the Army. And winning too – 2-0 for Lokomotiv ended the match. Rumen Goranov, the new star goalkeeper, denies Zhekov one more time. Goranov played his best season in my opinion, somewhat never reaching the same form again.
On the bottom: Akademik – Dunav. The hosts on the rise and winning (1-0), the visitors… well, already mentioned. Their goalie Markov expects one more shot from the sturdy Akademik’s midfielder Todor Paunov.
Players making waves not only of water – the centre-defense pair Vesselin Evgeniev (left) and Evlogy Banchev are late to block the centre-forward Kiril Milanov. In the heavy rain, Akademik (in white) and Pernik (the last season to play under this name) ended in a 1-1 tie. But the three featured players had strong season and were included in the national team.

Akademik were still far from their finest moments and struggled often – here they are denied from a win by visiting Dunav: 1-1. Lyuben Markov blocks the ball while his defensemen Lyubenov and Vazharov watch anxiously.
And one more 1-1 tie of Akademik (in white) – against Lokomotiv (Sofia), which sweeper Christakiev clears the ball surrounded by white shirts – the left winger Simov in the air, and the striker Milen Goranov (10) waiting. In Sofia’s hierarchy, Akademik were on the bottom and Lokomotiv just above them – hence, this was the only real derby for Akademik, while for Lokomotiv confrontations with Slavia and CSKA mattered much more.
Bogomil Simov – the very skilful left winger of Akademik was included in the national team this year, but as a whole he was under appreciated player.
Lokomotiv (Sofia) ended in midtable – reasonably, for they played some very good matches, followed by sloppy performance, like this one against N. Laskov (Yambol), lost at home 0-2. Clumsy Lokomotiv’s left winger Patzev is tackled by clumsy Laskov’s left winger Kovachev. Contrary to the result, the visitors (with white sleeves and shorts) faired badly: they finished next to last and were relegated never to return to First Division again.
Another tie, another scoreless tie… Slavia (in their traditional white kit) unable to beat Lokomotiv (Plovdiv) at home. Slavia ended 3rd, just bellow Lokomotiv (Plovdiv), but with equal points and one match less (either not played at all, or result annulled). Tasev (Slavia) and Peev (Lokomotiv) nicely represent the equality of their clubs, shoulder to shoulder to the end.
Traditionally ‘the surprise team’, because of notorious inconsistency, Slavia was capable of disappointments followed by big wins, like this one against Cherno more (Varna) – 5-2. Here a very young striker attacks – Andrey Zhelyazkov (in white). In a few years he will be major star and in the 1980s will play with Johann Cruiff for Feyenoord (Rotherdam). Unthinkable in 1973.