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Title favourites Levski suffer shock opening defeat

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 9 Aug 2008

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SOFIA, Aug 9 (Reuters) – Title favourites Levski Sofia slumped to a 1-0 defeat at Vihren in the opening round of the Bulgarian premier league season on Saturday.

Vihren, who are based in the town of Sandanski which has a population of less than 30,000, stunned Levski when Nigerian striker Masena Moke converted a penalty in the 76th minute after Brazilian Sukardinha was brought down by Zhivko Milanov.

The 25 times Bulgarian champions failed to shine and captain Georgi Ivanov missed a penalty early in the second half.

Velislav VutsovÂ’s team were runners-up last season but allowed to play in the Champions League after champions CSKA SofiaÂ’s were excluded from EuropeÂ’s elite club competition because of debts to the state and creditors.

In the third qualifying round, Levski face BelarusÂ’s BATE Borisov, who produced one of the biggest upsets so far in this yearÂ’s Champions League qualifiers by eliminating Anderlecht. The first leg takes place in Sofia on Wednesday.

Litex Lovech, who are also expected to challenge for the Bulgarian title, made a convincing start to the season with a 3-0 win at Slavia Sofia. CSKA meet Belasitsa Petrich on Sunday.

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