PFC Levski Sofia secured some welcome consolation from a tough UEFA Europa League campaign, beating S.S. Lazio 1-0 at the Stadio Olimpico with their first goal of the group stage.
Not since Cédric Bardon struck in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League play-off against Debreceni VSC on 19 August had Levski found the net in Europe, a run that had seen them lose all five of their opening Group G fixtures. Lazio had won twice – including 4-0 in the Bulgarian capital on Matchday 2 – but were also out of contention to progress and bow out on a losing note courtesy of Hristo Yovov's 61st-minute goal.
Zé Soares chance
To the surprise of the hardy pocket of visiting supporters, it was Levski who looked most threatening. Yovov's early drive was first to require the attention of home keeper Fernando Muslera during a half in which only Stephen Makinwa's nuisance factor posed any danger to Antoni Ivanov Zdravkov's side. Indeed, they should have been ahead on the half-hour mark, Zé Soares poking wide with the goal gaping.
The Bulgarian titleholders' best chance to break their duck looked to have come and gone when Yordan Miliev somehow headed wide on 50 minutes, but a reprive arrived when Darko Tasevski slipped in Yovov who, with a delightful deftness that belied their recent profligacy, lifted the ball over the fast advancing Muslera and into the net. The closest they came to registering a second goal of the night and a 250th in UEFA club competition owed less to subtlety and more to brute power, Georgi Sarmov crashing a 25-metre shot against the crossbar.