Armenia left it late but eventually overcame nine-man Bulgaria thanks to an 87th-minute Yura Movsisyan strike which keeps alive their hopes of a second-placed finish in FIFA World Cup qualifying Group B.
Nikolay Bodurov was first to see red for the visitors, conceding a free-kick which Aras Özbiliz converted on the stroke of half-time. However, Luboslav Penev's men equalised through Ivelin Popov before Svetoslav Dyakov picked up a second yellow and Movsisyan notched a late winner to move the hosts to within a point of their defeated opponents. Armenia travel to Italy on Tuesday's last day of qualification, when Bulgaria – second in the group at the start of play – host the Czech Republic.
After an uneventful opening half-hour Bulgaria threatened first when Emil Gargorov released Popov but home keeper Roman Berezovski did excellently to keep things level. The deadlock was broken when Bodurov brought down Özbiliz on the edge of the area, and the No23 curled the resulting effort over the wall and into the net.
Despite being a man down following Bodurov's expulsion, Bulgaria began the second period on the front foot, and after Stanislav Manolev and Gargorov had missed good opportunities, skipper Popov scored a brilliant free-kick of his own to restore parity on 61 minutes.
Any chance of maintaining that momentum crumbled two minutes later as Dyakov was dismissed, and Armenia punished the nine men with three minutes remaining. Henrikh Mkhitaryan sent Movsisyan clear and the forward made no mistake, to ensure the fight for second place goes to the final day, with the Czechs and Denmark also in contention.