Bulgaria draw keeps Montenegro from first
PODGORICA, Montenegro (AP)
Montenegro missed the chance to overtake England at the top of their Euro 2012 qualifying group after a 1-1 draw at home to Bulgaria on Saturday.
Radomir Djalovic put the hosts ahead in the 52nd minute with a volley from Vladimir Bozovic's left-wing cross.
Bulgaria's equalizer came after a counterattack in the 64th when Petar Zanev provided the perfect pass for Ivelin Popov to find the net.
''We are fine with this draw, but it is a pity that we did not score a positive result,'' Montenegrin coach Zlatko Kranjcar said.
Montenegro and England, which drew 2-2 at home to Switzerland, both have 11 points from five games in Group G. Bulgaria is fourth on five points.
Montenegro attacked from the start, with Mirko Vucinic nearly scoring in the 3rd minute after stealing the ball from the Bulgarian defense.
Midfielder Milorad Pekovic tried again in the 21st, but Bulgaria fought back with a sharp exchange between Stiliyan Petrov and Marcos Marquinhos that was cut out by Montenegro goalkeeper Mladen Bozovic.
The hosts immediately went back on the attack and Elsad Zverotic's shot from 20 yards flew just over Mihaylov's bar in the 31st.
Petrov brought a rare save from Bozovic in the 37th with a fierce shot, while Montenegro was unlucky not to take the lead before halftime with a 30-yard effort from Savo Pavicevic and a header by Marko Basa.
Montenegro: Mladen Boovic, Savo Pavicevic (Mladen Kacelan, 82) , Marko Baa, Mirko Vucinic, Radomir Djalovic, Milorad Pekovic, Luka Pejovic, Elsad Zverotic (Stevan Jovetic, 72), Nikola Drincic, Vladimir Boovic (Ivan Fatic, 76), Stefan Savic.
Bulgaria: Nikolay Mihaylov, Stanislav Manolev, Ivan Bandalovski, Petar Zanev, Nikolay Bodurov, Hristo Yanev, Ivelin Popov, Ivelin Popov, Marcos Marquinhos, Martin Petrov (Spas Delev, 87), Stiliyan Petrov (Chandar Yankov, 46).