Slovenia strike late to beat Bulgaria

Slovenia 2-1 Bulgaria
Tomaž Kavčič's side recorded their first win in qualifying Group 2 as Andraž Šporar's added-time clincher eventually sank the visitors.

Slovenia players huddle ahead of the game
Slovenia players huddle ahead of the game ©Ervin Čurlič

Slovenia recorded their first victory in UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifying Group 2 thanks to Andraž Šporar's added-time winner against Bulgaria.

Tomaž Kavčič's side were winless from their opening four qualification matches and that run seemed destined to continue after Edisson Jordanov cancelled out Asen Georgiev's own goal. However, two minutes into stoppage time, Šporar pounced on a loose ball inside the area to move Slovenia to within three points of their opponents, who missed the chance to go second.

Bulgaria were looking to make the most of the section's top two Russia and Denmark facing each other, but after a cagey start in Nova Gorica they fell behind in the 24th minute. Blaž Vrhovec's strike from 20 metres deflected off Georgiev and deceived Georgi Kitanov in the visitors' goal. Mihail Madanski's charges came close to an equaliser three minutes before half-time but Aleksandar Kolev's shot was kept out by a smart Ažbe Jug save.

Bulgaria needed just eight minutes of the second period to draw level, though, as substitute Jordanov picked up possession on the right, weaved his way through the home defence and finished with aplomb inside the box. However, they failed to build on their equaliser and, after Haris Vučkič's header gave a warning of the threat Slovenia still carried, it was left to Šporar to have the final say late on.

Kavčič said: "We deserved this win. Obviously we were tired after a tough match in Denmark [2-2 on Friday] and Bulgaria were not easy opponents. Nova Gorica seems to suit us – we have yet to lose here."

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