Stanislav Manolev's goal just before the interval secured three points for Bulgaria as their fine start to their FIFA World Cup qualifying Group B continued against Armenia.
After scoring the opener when the hosts held Italy on Friday, the PSV Eindhoven midfielder was at it again in Sofia, converting from close range on 43 minutes. The visitors saw Marcos Pizzelli and Gevorg Ghazaryan receive red cards in the second half, while Svetoslav Dyakov was dismissed for Luboslav Penev's men, who held on for victory.
In a fierce encounter, both sides found it hard to create chances in the opening period, with only Artur Edigaryan for the visitors, and Ivelin Popov for Bulgaria, going close in the first 40 minutes. The breakthrough came two minutes before the interval as captain Popov burst clear on the left and his low cross was expertly turned in by Manolev.
After the break, chances were again few and far between, and the main talking point came from a confrontation in the 73rd minute which saw Pizzelli and Dyakov sent off. Four minutes later Ghazaryan was dismissed too, and with his departure went Armenia's chances as Bulgaria claimed a first competitive win since 2010.