Debreceni VSC are in a commanding position as they bid to become Hungary's first UEFA Champions League participants since Ferencvárosi TC in 1995/96 after they scored in either half to establish a 2-1 first-leg advantage away to play-off rivals PFC Levski Sofia.
András Herczeg's side wasted little time in making their mark against the Bulgarian champions when László Bodnár scored a spectacular opener but Levski replied at the start of the second period with an equally emphatic strike from Cédric Bardon. The crucial moment of the match, and perhaps the tie, came 14 minutes from time, however, when Péter Czvitkovics claimed the second away goal of the evening.
The early stages brought plenty of endeavour yet little quality but that changed in dramatic fashion in the 12th minute when Bodnár unleashed a speculative effort from all of 30 metres that whistled into the top corner of Georgi Petkov's net. Czvitkovics stung the palms of Petkov with a rising drive from the edge of the area as Debrecen attempted to capitalise on the hosts' disbelief but the home side regrouped, Bardon firing just wide.
There was further disruption for the hosts, though, when they were forced into a change shortly after, centre-back Péter Máté replaced by Ádám Komlósi. The resulting defensive uncertainty was nearly exploited on a number of occasions by a Debrecen side now enjoying a measure of control. Péter Szakály scuffed one chance wide while a Leandro strike was tipped over by Petkov. Leandro then turned provider with a cross headed against the bar by Czvitkovics while Adamo Coulibaly, a constant threat with his bursts of pace, drilled over on 35 minutes.
Ratko Dostanić needed to lift his side at the interval and his words had the desired effect as Levski levelled six minutes into the second half when Bardon swept an incisive finish into the top corner from Zé Soares's cut-back. The flow of the match immediately changed as the Bulgarian team sensed victory was theirs for the taking. But aside from a few half-chances, they could not penetrate and were made to pay by a Debrecen counterattack as substitute Tibor Dombi's low cross from the right was met with a telling flick at the near post by Czvitkovics.