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Page last updated at 15:54 GMT, Tuesday, 27 July 2010 16:54 UK

CSKA Sofia 3-0 Cliftonville

Cliftonville players turn away in disappointment after CSKA had taken an early lead
Cliftonville players turn away in disappointment after CSKA had taken an early lead in the Europa League first leg match

Two late goals in Sofia appear to have brought an end to Cliftonville's Europa League fairytale.

The Reds were just 1-0 down going into the last 20 minutes but now face a three-goal deficit for the return leg.

Pavel Vidanov scored from close-range in the ninth minute to give the home side the lead.

Marcos Marquinhos made it 2-0 in the 73rd minute and Rumen Trifonov got the third while Cliftonville had Stephen Garrett sent-off near the end.

Former Newry City player Garrett was dismissed after a late challenge earned him his second yellow card.

The secong leg will be played at Windsor Park in Belfast on Thursday, 5 August.

For much of Tuesday's first meeting, it looked like the third qualifying round match would be very much alive as the Reds survived a string of narrow escapes after conceding early on.

The initial breakthrough came from a corner on the right. After a team-mate missed the ball, it fell kindly for Vidanov who netted from close-range.

CSKA missed a number of great chances and, on 64 minutes, Ciaran Donaghy pulled off an unbelievable double goal-line clearance.

But it ended disappointingly when a neat one-touch passing build-up ended with Marquinhos making it 2-0.

Then Trifonov got through to beat John Connolly with a skilful first-time chip for the third.



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see also
CSKA Sofia v Cliftonville
26 Jul 10 |  Irish
Cliftonville face travel problems
23 Jul 10 |  Irish
Reds stun Croats in Europa League
23 Jul 10 |  Northern Ireland
Patterson lauds his Reds heroes
23 Jul 10 |  Northern Ireland
HNK Cibalia 0-0 Cliftonville
22 Jul 10 |  Irish
Cliftonville may face CSKA Sofia
16 Jul 10 |  Irish
Cliftonville 1-0 HNK Cibalia
15 Jul 10 |  Irish


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