PFC Levski Sofia went through to the group stage of the UEFA Cup after a 1-0 win at home against AJ Auxerre in the second leg of their first round tie. A first-half goal from Milan Koprivarov earned the Bulgarian side victory on the night and passage to the next round on the away goals rule following a 2-1 defeat in France in the first leg.
Cool under pressure
Yann Lachuer had the visitors' first attempt in the ninth minute but his right-footed shot was saved by Levski keeper Georgi Petkov. At the other end, Fabien Cool dealt comfortably with a Valeri Domovchiyski shot as the Bulgarian team sought to find the goal which would give them the advantage.
Levski turn the screw
Daniel Borimirov then headed wide of the Auxerre goal from a Dmitar Telkiyski free-kick in the 20th minute as Levski turned the screw. The first yellow card of the game went to Borimirov for a foul on Kanga Akalé two minutes later but the home team continued to dominate possession and put the Auxerre rearguard under pressure.
The visitors' defences gave way in the 27th minute when Koprivarov scored with a low right-foot shot from outside the penalty area. Lachuer fired wide of Petkov's goal in first-half stoppage time as Auxerre battled to get back into the game.
Santini shuffles pack
Just past the hour mark, Luigi Pieroni was withdrawn in favour for Benjani Mwaruwari and Auxerre coach Jacques Santini sent on Romain Poyet in place of midfielder Philippe Violeau to support the Zimbabwean striker up front. Mwaruwari tested Petkov in the 80th minute but his shot was comfortably saved by the Levski goalkeeper. The Bulgarian team then had to hold on for eight nervous minutes of added time before they could celebrate their win.