Merely an afterthought at the beginning of Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League shuffle, Ludogorets Razgrad vs. Steaua Bucuresti wound up turning into a true thriller.
The drama really kicked off when Ludogorets scored just before Spanish referee Alberto Undiano blew for full time, sending the contest into extra-time. With an apparent affinity for heightening drama toward the end of a period, Ludogorets then had their keeper, Vladisov Stoyanov, sent off with a red card.
Out of substitutions and with a penalty shootout looming, the team turned to central defender Cosmin Moti to save the day. And boy, did he:
Moti donned backup keeper Ivan Civorovic’s keeper shirt, but it may as well have been a cape. Not only did Moti step up to take his side’s first kick of the penalty shootout (with his goalie gloves on!), he drilled it past his counterpart.
Then, the new Champions League star went on to save not just one, but two Steaua penalties to seal the win. Moti’s heroics earned lowly Ludogorets their first-ever berth in the Champions League group stage.
Here’s to hoping Moti and his scrappy side keep the hits coming against some other big boys.