Sofia Echo


Berbatov becomes Bulgaria's all-time goalscorer in 4-1 win over Malta

Author: Nick Iliev Date: Thu, Nov 19 2009 3166 Views
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Malta was overwhelmed at home by Bulgaria 4-1 in a football friendly on November 18 2009. Bulgaria's final encounter for the calendar year marked emergence of Dimitar Berbatov as the side's all-time top scorer.

Hristo Bonev's record of 47 goals in 96 international appearances set in 1979 withstood all challenges over the years, including from arguably Bulgaria's best player in history, Hristo Stoichkov, who finished his career with 37 strikes and 83 caps.

Berbatov's brace was his third in four matches against Malta and gave him 48 goals in 74 appearances for the national team. Berbatov's numbers, however, will not win over his detractors, who say that 20 of his goals were scored in meaningless friendlies against inferior opposition.

Goals from Valeri Bojinov and Blagoi Georgiev and a strike from Michael Mifsud, himself closing up on becoming Malta's all-time leading scorer, wrapped up the final result.

Bulgaria went ahead in the fourth minute, when Bojinov beat Andrew Hogg. Berbatov struck the woodwork shortly thereafter, followed by another Valeri Bojinov strike, which was ruled offside.

The first half ended without more goals despite Bulgarian dominance on the pitch and Malta managed an equaliser against the run of play after the break. However, Bulgaria and Berbatov were not to be denied and the Manchester United striker equalled Bonev's record after a through ball from Ivan Bandalovski on the wing.

Yet another Bulgarian surge forward saw Blagoi Georgiev score from a free kick on the edge of the penalty area to make the score 3-1.

The hosts had hardly restarted the game when a quick counter-attack gave Berbatov the opportunity to surpass Bonev, a chance he did not squander.

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