Chess United beat PFC Levski in penalty shootout

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Restday in SofiaIn a dramatic finish, Chess United defeated PFC Levski 7-8 on penalties after a 6-6 score at the end of the regular playing time. Goal keeper Vassily Ivanchuk, who is said to have received some last-minute advice on the phone from Iker Casillas just before the match, scored the winning goal.

On the rest day of the M-Tel Masters, Chess United and PFC Levski created a real football drama at the Georgi Asparuhov stadium. The team of the grandmasters won on penalties against a selection of PFC Levski. In the regular time the mega derby on a small football field ended 6-6. Referee of the game was the CEO of M-Tel, Josef Vinatzer.

The two teams offered attractive attacking football. Daniel Borimirov opened the score in the 2nd minute. The grandmasters’ response came only 3 minutes later. A series of good passes exchanged between Carlsen and Dominguez, lead to a goal by Dominguez from short distance. Again Borimirov scored with a placed shot in the 7th minute. He scored again for 3-1 in the 10th minute. Only a minute later the GM from Norway Magnus Carlsen was alone against the keeper and after a miss scored with a backheel shot for 3-2.

Restday in Sofia

Magnus Carlsen, who learnt his tricks from the legendary Norwegian international Simen Agdestein



In the 12th minute medical intervention had to me made on the Bulgarian GM Veselin Topalov. He came back on the field with a protection mask on his face after a consultation with Dr. Nayden Kandilarov.

Restday in Sofia

Veselin Topalov wearing a protection mask, also useful for blindfold soccer



The head coach of the Blues Emil Velev scored two goals after some excellent team play in the 12th and 14th minute to give Levski a 5-2 lead. This was followed by several phenomenal saves from the keeper Vassily Ivanchuk who denied the blue attack several great scoring chances. Then came the moment of Kiprian Berbatov in the derby. In the 15th minute his shot past the hosts’ keeper, putting the score on 5-3. It was the second goal of Berbatov in two games against Levski.

Restday in Sofia

Coach Silvio Danailov didn't need substitutes this time



In the 19th minute Bojidar Iskrenov scored for 6-2 after he finished a good combination of multiple passes between the Levski players. It looked like the game would end in a comfortable victory for Levski, when their first-team keeper Georgi Petkov, who played as a field player in this game, sent the ball in his own goal.

Restday in Sofia

Wang Yue, a solid, positional defender



In the extra time added by referee Vinatzer the team of Chess United created a unique comeback. After a good counterattack Dominguez made a trick on the keeper and scored for 6-5. In the next attack of the chess players Carlsen levelled the score. The referee Vinatzer blew the whistle for full time and the result of the game was going to be decided by penalties.

Both goalkeepers displayed their best during the shootout. Ivanchuk saved 6 out of the 7 shots of Levski and Kiprian Berbatov did not make a mistake from the spot. With the result level, the last penalty was for Ivanchuk. He shot past the keeper Borimirov and the final result was 7-8 for Chess United.

Restday in Sofia

Vassily Ivanchuk scoring the winning goal



Restday in Sofia

Levski 7, Chess United 8!



The cup for the winning team was conferred by the CEO of M-Tel Josef Vinatzer. The executive director of Corporate Commercial Bank Georgi Hristov awarded Leinier Dominguez as man of the match.

Restday in Sofia

Man of the match, Leinier Dominguez, receiving the prize from Georgi Hristov



Restday in Sofia

Rumen Yanchev, chair of the supervisory board of Bulstrad Life Vienna Insurance Group, handed Kiprian Berbatov a green card for fair play and the award for team spirit – to the team of Chess United.



Restday in Sofia

From left to right standings: Dominguez, Shirov, Hristov, Vinatzer, Topalov, Yanchev, Carlsen, Ivanchuk. Kneeling: Wang Yue, Berbatov



Report by Dimitar Naydenov, Press Officer of the M-Tel Masters

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