Ludogorets finally ended their 18-match winless run in the Europa League as they secured a shock 2-1 victory late on over AS Roma in Razgrad to deal a blow to Jose Mourinho’s side in the opening match in Group C.
This was the first competitive meeting between the two sides, and Ludogorets came into the game with just one win in their history previously against Italian opposition.
The first half was bitty for both sides, as Ludogorets failed to register a shot on goal and Roma were unable to find the breakthrough despite their superiority on the ball. The best opening for the Giallorossi came in the 35th minute, as Lorenzo Pellegrini’s corner was headed onto the right post by Gianluca Mancini, and Ludogorets breathed a sigh of relief that the ball stayed out.
The dynamic of the game shifted significantly in the second half, as Ante Simundza’s side looked more threatening in attack, and they took a deserved lead in the 71st minute. Cauly Souza picked up the ball in the right half-space before driving forward into the area and finishing well beyond Roma goalkeeper Mile Svilar into the bottom corner to put his side ahead.
Roma’s late pressure in search of a goal paid off as they found an equaliser with five minutes to play. Lorenzo Pellegrini’s floated cross from the right was headed in superbly by Eldor Shomurodov to set up an interesting finish.
Ludogorets responded by finding a dramatic winner three minutes from time as Nonato scored his first goal for the club from inside the area to spark wild celebrations in the stands.
The home side held on to secure a famous victory, with Roma suffering now back-to-back defeats for the first time this season.