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Levski get the better of group winners Sporting

PFC Lesvki Sofia 1-0 Sporting Clube de Portugal
Eliminated Lesvki ended their campaign on a high by defeating the Group C winners at a snowy Georgi Asparuhov Stadion.

Levski celebrate their winner against Sporting
Levski celebrate their winner against Sporting ©Getty Images

PFC Levski Sofia restored some pride by defeating UEFA Europa League Group C winners Sporting Clube de Portugal in a game of few chances.

LOSC Lille Métropole's victory against KAA Gent condemned Levski to a bottom-placed finish, but a single goal from Daniel Mladenov ensured that the Bulgarian club signed off on a high and went some way towards avenging their 5-0 defeat in Lisbon on Matchday 2.

With both clubs' fate determined prior to kick-off, the opening stages proved to be unsurprisingly placid, with wintry conditions not conducive to a free-flowing contest. Sporting saw plenty of the ball, although their methodical approach failed to trouble the hosts' resolute back line.

However, just as it seemed both sides would go into the break all square, Levski managed to get behind the Sporting defence for the first time. Garra Dembélé used his pace and strength to shrug off Nuno Coelho before cutting back for the onrushing Mladenov to slide the ball into an unguarded net.

The second half began with both sides showing invention and a willingness to throw men forward. Sporting nearly levelled the scores when Jamie Valdés's corner fell invitingly to Maniche, whose rasping volley was bravely blocked on the line by Dembélé.

Levski were centimetres away from increasing their lead moments later when Darko Tasevski nonchalantly curled the ball just wide following some slick passing, and Yasen Petrov's side comfortably saw the game out, only threatened when Yannick Djaló's drilled shot forced a fine save from Bozhidar Mitrev at his near post.