PFC Ludogorets Razgrad and FK Partizan played out a goalless draw in the opening instalment of their UEFA Champions League third qualifying round tie.
Having been knocked out at this stage of the competition last season by the same opponents, Partizan set up to blunt Ludogorets' attacking threat. Last season's Serbian Super League runners-up defended resolutely, particularly in the second half, as the Bulgarian side failed to convert their superior possession and territory into goals.
Partizan could have taken the lead in the just the second minute but Darko Brašanac could not capitalise on a Júnior Caiçara slip in the penalty area. Ludogorets grew into the game from then on and Marcelinho nearly opened the scoring with a header that drifted wide in the 11th minute.
Mihail Aleksandrov then latched onto a perfectly-weighted through ball from Svetoslav Dyakov but was denied a shooting opportunity by a last-ditch sliding tackle from Vladimir Volkov. Marcelinho again threatened but the Brazilian's shot went just over after 32 minutes.
In the second half Partizan defended in great numbers and allowed the Ludogorets forwards little space or time on the ball. The Bulgarian champions piled on the pressure but never manufactured another clear opportunity at goal.
Progression to the next stage of the UEFA Champions League hinges on the return fixture in Belgrade on 6 August.
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