A solitary goal from Imre Szabics handed SK Sturm Graz a slender advantage in their UEFA Cup second-round encounter against PFC Levski Sofia.
The 21-year-old Hungarian latched on to a terrific pass from Jerzy Brzeczek on 19 minutes before firing into the net for the only goal of an entertaining first leg at the Arnold Schwarzenegger stadium.
Sturm had two good chances to further their lead before half-time but were denied by two fantastic saves from the Bulgarian side's goalkeeper, Gueorgui Petkov. On the half-hour mark, Szabics had his close-range shot blocked on the line before Gerald Strafner was foiled from eleven metres out.
Miodrag Pantelic should have levelled the scores in the second half but sent his shot skidding wide of the Sturm goal when clean through. Nevertheless, both sides seemed content to settle for a 1-0 scoreline.
Vieira sent off
Czech referee Karel Vidlak flourished an 85th-minute red card in the direction of Marcelo Vieira after the Levski man had shoved Strafner to the floor, but the one-man advantage came too late for Sturm to add to their tally and the Austrian Bundesliga side will travel to the Bulgarian capital for the second leg in a fortnight with the narrowest of leads to protect.