Blackburn Rovers FC 1-1 PFC CSKA Sofia
A wonderful solo effort from Velizar Dimitrov gave the ten men of PFC CSKA Sofia a precious away goal to take into the second leg of their UEFA Cup first-round tie against Blackburn Rovers FC.
Plenty of chances
There were chances aplenty at Ewood Park where the CSKA front pair of João Paolo Brito and Macdonald Mukasi matched the attacking efforts of Blackburn's Keith Gillespie and Nils Eric Johansson.
Yorke fires wide
The home side started brightly and had a wonderful chance to score after only six minutes. Former Manchester United FC striker Dwight Yorke - who limped off soon afterwards with a hamstring problem - fired wide with just the goalkeeper to beat and Blackburn were left to rue their profligacy when the visitors took the lead after 22 minutes.
The skilful Dimitrov picked up the ball 35 metres out and ran at the Blackburn defence, evading the challenges of Lucas Neill and debutant Neil Danns before placing a left-footed shot past the outstretched arm of Brad Friedel from 20 metres.
Blackburn were level within four minutes, however. Johansson successfully held off the challenge of Georgi Georgiev and placed a dangerous cross into the penalty area which was only partially cleared by the CSKA defence. The ball fell to striker Corrado Grabbi who made no mistake with a shot that went in off the inside of the post.
Tomovski sent off
Graeme Souness's side dominated the second half as they tried to make home advantage count. Stoyan Petrov in the CSKA goal was in outstanding form to stop headers from Martin Taylor and Egil Ostenstad from Gillespie crosses, and the Bulgarian side successfully withstood Blackburn's sustained late pressure. This despite being a man down after Aleksandar Tomovski's 74th-minute dismissal for two bookable offences, the second after a foul on Gillespie.