A late goal from Ismail Isa gave FC Sheriff some breathing space ahead of their UEFA Champions League second qualifying round decider against FK Sutjeska.
The Tiraspol team, twice beaten in the play-offs of Europe's premier club competition, were leading through defender Andrei Mureşan's 71st-minute strike when Isa doubled their advantage in the closing stages. Mile Tomic's Sutjeska have it all to do when the sides meet in the return leg in Montenegro next Tuesday.
Luvannor Henrique could have put Sheriff ahead with one of a flurry of first-half chances, but it took the Moldovan titleholders until late in the second period to break the deadlock. Mureşan turned the ball in from close range after Cadu's corner had caused havoc in the visitors' penalty area.
Isa got his name on the scoresheet when he converted the rebound after Ivan Janjušević had kept out Fred Benson's strike, and ought to have made it three in added time only to place his effort wide with just the keeper to beat.