Yordan Todorov scored the decisive goal to give PFC CSKA Sofia a surprise 1-0 win against Bundesliga side Bayer 04 Leverkusen in the first leg of their UEFA Cup first-round tie at the BayArena.
While the Bulgarian visitors were the better side in the early exchanges, the 1987/88 UEFA Cup winners Leverkusen had their moments with Andriy Voronin trying his luck with two long-range shots which failed to trouble CSKA goalkeeper Dejan Maksić. However, Todorov had no such trouble slipping the ball beyond Jörg Butt on 15 minutes, pouncing after Brazilian left-back Athirson failed to control a pass from Clemens Fritz.
Klaus Augenthaler's side were expected to react but too often wasted attacking opportunities while CSKA continued to cause problems. After 28 minutes, full-back Roque Junior's attempted clearance fell to Emil Gargorov, and only Carsten Ramelow's desperate block prevented another goal.
The hosts stepped up the pace in the second half: Bernd Schneider took control of the game and Croatian Marko Babić might have equalised on 58 minutes, only for his blistering long-range shot to miss by centimetres. Maksić was the star for Sofia 13 minutes later as he parried another long-range effort from Voronin. And after 75 minutes, unmarked Dimitar Berbatov failed to convert a point-blank header against his former club.
Even in the dramatic final minutes of the match, Leverkusen wasted chances, with Brazilian Juan failing to beat Maksić when well placed. The Bundesliga side were thus forced to accept a painful home defeat which presents them with a huge challenge for the second leg at CSKA on 29 September.