Ludogorets win third successive Bulgarian title

Ludogorets win third successive Bulgarian title
By Reuters

08/05/2014 at 03:19Updated 08/05/2014 at 03:29

Ludogorets extended their dominance of Bulgarian soccer by winning their third successive league title with a 1-0 home victory over Lokomotiv Plovdiv on Wednesday.

The Eagles moved eight points clear at the top of the standings with two matches remaining and became the first club outside the capital Sofia to clinch three consecutive titles.

Slovenia striker Roman Bezjak scored the winner in the 10th minute with his 19th goal in all competitions after captain Svetoslav Dyakov's clever assist.

They will now concentrate on the clash with big-spending Botev Plovdiv in the Bulgarian Cup final next Thursday as they seek to complete their second domestic double.

Ludogorets, who replaced coach Ivaylo Petev with Stoycho Stoev after a surprise defeat in their opening league game, have played 61 matches so far in a marathon season.

It began in mid-July and included a 16-game European campaign that took them to the Europa League's round of 16.

"I'm extremely proud to manage these players," Stoev told reporters. "I know that we have a cup final next week but I don't want to think about the future right now. It's a special moment that we waited so long."

Ludogorets go into the second qualifying round of next season's Champions League.

Ludogorets are based in Razgard - a town with a population of less than 35,000 - and play their home matches at their 8,000-capacity Ludogorets Arena. They moved to the 43,000-seater Vasil Levski national stadium in Sofia for their European games.