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Levski start with a bang in Europe, CSKA with a loss - Photos Official Levski website

Welton and Ronaldo scored the goals and Levski won 2:0 away against Shkupi from the Republic of North Macedonia in a match of the second qualifying round of the Football League of Conferences tournament. The Brazilians were accurate in both halves on a very difficult pitch at the Macedonian national stadium Todor Proeski.

Levski made their only clean sheet in the first half. In the 31st minute, Cristian Dimitrov played a long pass from the defense to Ricardinho, who took the right wing and headed back to the penalty spot for Welton. The Bulgarian winger outpaced a Shkupi defender and slotted the ball into the net for 1-0.

Before that, the Macedonians had two serious scoring chances. Plamen Andreev failed to control the ball in the penalty area and it fell at the feet of Walid Hamidi, who failed to hit the empty Levski goal. Michal Pinter then won a high ball on a centering pass and shot with his head, but Andreev deflected the shot.

In the added time of the first half Shkupi made another chance, but Christian Dimitrov saved Levski. Renaldo Sifas was brought up behind the defence and flicked over Plamen Andreev, who came out to meet him, and the Bulgarian defender chased down the ball and cleared it off the line.

In the second half, Welton threatened Shkupi's goal twice and the Bulgarian defence was not seriously troubled by the Macedonian attack. The problems were more injury-related, as Assen Chandirov and Ricardinho were replaced with aches and pains. Asimi Fadiga made his debut for the Bulgarian team in the 79th minute, replacing the hero of the match against Botev (Plovdiv) Davad El Jemili.

Levski got a second goal in the fourth minute of added time from a corner kick. The ball was deflected by Assen Chandirov, who sent it in front of the Macedonian goal to the uncovered Ronaldo. The Brazilian, who came on as a substitute, scored from close range for the final 2:0 in favour of the Bulgarian team.

Our other Conference League participant, CSKA, lost 0:2 at home against the winner of the Romanian Cup for the last two seasons, Sepsis, in the first match of the second qualifying round.

In the 16th minute of the match Matthias Faeton fired a shot after a cross from Dukens Nazon, but goalkeeper Roland Niczuli dealt with the situation. Ten minutes after that, Tobias Heinz centred from a foul in the penalty area and Meno Koch headed to Jonathan Lindseth, who headed into touch.

After nearly half an hour of play, the visitors made a serious mistake. Cosmin Mattei received a through pass behind the defense, entered the Reds' penalty area, but his attempted shot was blocked by Thibaut Vion, then the ball reached Nicolae Peacock, who fired into touch.

In the 35th minute, Andres Dumitrescu centred into the Bulgarian team's penalty area, where Mihai Balasa shot inaccurately.

Four minutes before the end of regular time in the first half, Marius Stefanescu was brought out alone against Gustavo Busato, but the goalkeeper made a decisive save on the striker's attempt to score. The ball reached Cosmin Matei, who combined with Pavol Shafranco and he fired into touch.

In the first minutes of the second half, CSKA-Sofia tried to control the ball more and apply pressure, but they did not reach any clear scoring chances in front of the Romanian goal.

In the 68th minute, Sepsi took an advance in the score. Meno Koch made a mistake and the ball went behind him. Mario Rondon crossed for Nicolae Peacock and he continued to Roland Varga, who was left with only Busato to beat, but the Brazilian goalkeeper made the save. Immediately after that, Nicolae Peacock was at his best in the penalty area and sent the ball into the net.

Sepsi also scored in the 80th minute of the match. Gustavo Busato made an extremely rude mistake. The Brazilian went outside the penalty area to cross the ball, but lost the tackle, and immediately after Roland Varga missed to score with an accurate and transfer shot into the empty CSKA goal.

Two minutes before the end of regulation time, a shot by substitute Vitalie Damascjan met the crossbar of the goal guarded by Busato. In the ensuing static situation in front of the capital's goal, Branislav Ninjaj also had no chance to score and the ball hit the side post.

This is the first defeat for the Reds in the European tournaments at the Bulgarian Army Stadium in nearly 18 years.

The rematch between the two teams will take place next week in Romania.