CSKA finished the year with a victory
CSKA won against Arda with a minimal score of 1-0 in a postponed match from the 18th round of the efbet League, which was the last game in the Bulgarian football elite for the calendar year 2023.
In the 7th minute, CSKA created the first goal-threatening opportunity in the match. Georgi Rusev escaped the Arda defense and shot diagonally. However, Anatoliy Gospodinov made the save. Antonio Vutov reached the ball first. Despite stumbling and falling to the ground, he managed to take a shot. However, a defender from the guests successfully cleared the ball off the goal line.
Five minutes later, 'the Reds' took the lead. CSKA was awarded a penalty after Djelal Huseinov made a bad challenge from behind, tripping the speeding Emil Tsenov. The referee, Vasil El-Khatib, pointed to the penalty spot, and his decision was confirmed by VAR. CSKA's captain, Ivaylo Chochev, stepped up to take the penalty. His shot down the center beat Gospodinov.
The hosts had a fantastic chance to double the lead in the 28th minute. The ball was played from the right into the penalty area. There, Ivaylo Chochev let it go for the onrushing Pedrinho behind him. The Brazilian found himself in front of an almost empty goal, but instead of scoring, he aimed for the right post.
In the following minutes, Arda was the more active team, and in the 41st minute, they earned a direct free-kick on the edge of the penalty area to the right of the goal. Tonislav Yordanov did not take the shot but instead played the ball to Lachezar Kotev, who was at the edge of the penalty area, facing the goal. He took a shot, but the ball shook the crossbar of Gennady Ganev's goal.
By the end of the first half, Nikolay Panayotov's team tried to reach a second goal, but without success, and thus went into the break with a one-goal lead.
The first more serious threat in the second half came for the guests from Kardzhali, but when Radoslav Tsonev took a direct free-kick, Ganev made a fantastic save.
Just before the hour mark, 'the Reds' were left with ten men on the field after Steve Furtado received a yellow card for a foul from behind. This was the defender's second official warning, leading to his early departure from the field.
In the 71st minute, Preslav Borukov outran Emil Viyachki and reached the ball in the penalty area to the right of the goal, where the advanced goalkeeper Gennady Ganev was. The striker took a shot from a tight angle, but Heliton blocked the ball's path to the net.
Although Arda was pressing, CSKA also created opportunities, and in one of them, a shot by Nikola Iliev was blocked.
A minute before the end of regular time, Ivan Kokonov took a powerful shot from a distance, but the home team's goalkeeper caught the ball.
In the added time of the match, the hosts shifted the game to Arda's half to prevent attacks from the guests from Kardzhali towards Gennady Ganev's goal. This way, CSKA maintained their lead and finished the year with a victory.
These were the last matches for both teams in the calendar year, with CSKA's first match in 2024 scheduled against Etar in Veliko Tarnovo.