ŠK Slovan Bratislava had to dig deep to overcome PFC Ludogorets Razgrad, scoring two late goals to establish a slim lead at the halfway stage of their UEFA Champions League second qualifying round tie.
The visitors got their noses in front after 65 minutes, Finnish defender Tero Mäntylä breaking the deadlock with an opportunistic strike. That goal looked like being the difference between the sides but Slovan rallied in the final minutes of the game, Juraj Halenár restoring parity before converting a late penalty to seal an unlikely win.
The home side suffered an early blow when captain Igor Žofčák was forced off injured but still enjoyed the better of the opening period, threatening through a number of well-taken set pieces from Marko Milinković and coming close to the opener through Filip Hlohovský.
Ludogorets made it to the interval unscathed, however, and took the lead 20 minutes later, Mäntylä reacting quickest after Hristo Zlatinski's free-kick was spilled by Matúš Putnocký. In truth that could – and perhaps should – have been the Bulgarian side's second goal, Roman Bezjak having missed a golden opportunity minutes earlier.
It briefly looked as though they would get away with that moment of profligacy when Pavel Fořt missed a penalty for the hosts, but Halenár levelled things up with a fine goal three minutes from time.
Ivaylo Bogdanov's side would still have been confident of returning to Bulgaria with a creditable draw but Halenár had other ideas, firing past Vladislav Stoyanov after the goalkeeper had brought down Lester Peltier to give his side a narrow advantage to take into the second leg.
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