Švento maintains Salzburg marchThursday 22 October 2009
A lone Dušan Švento goal was enough for FC Salzburg to defeat PFC Levski Sofia and maintain the Austrian champions' perfect record in UEFA Europa League Group G.
The Slovakian midfielder's crisp, left-footed drive from the edge of the area two minutes into added time at the end of the first half condemned Levski to their third successive defeat in the section. Boasting a 100 per cent record after three matches, Huub Steven's Salzburg will all but secure qualification if they win the return in Bulgaria on 5 November.
Without a win in seven matches, Levski were playing their first game since the resignation of Serbian coach Ratko Dostanić, and the new incumbent, Antoni Zdravkov, watched his side being penned back early on. Despite their possession, however, it was not until the 18-minute mark that Salzburg first threatened, Georgi Petkov beating out Andreas Ulmer's shot after the goalkeeper had failed to gather Švento's corner.
Three minutes later, the post prevented the visitors from ending their run of three games without a goal in Europe. Nikolay Dimitrov crossed from the left, Salzburg defender Ibrahim Sekagya hesitated and Hristo Yovov somehow struck the woodwork from close range. Švento fired Die Bullen ahead with a 20-metre drive which Petkov could only get his fingertips to, a lead which Zé Soares should have cancelled out soon after the break when faced with a clear sight of Eddie Gustafsson's goal.
Petkov was then quick off his line to deny the influential Švento on the hour, while Djordje Rakić headed over as the hosts sought the security of a two-goal lead. As it was, Švento's goal proved sufficient to decide Salzburg's first meeting with Bulgarian opposition and leave Stevens' side in a healthy position at the group summit, three points clear of S.S. Lazio after they defeated Villarreal CF 2-1.
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