European Football - Beroe stun favourites Levski to win Bulgarian Cup

Beroe Stara Zagora won one of the most dramatic Bulgarian Cup finals with a 3-1 penalty shootout victory over favourites Levski Sofia after a thrilling match ended 3-3 after extra time.

European Football - Beroe stun favourites Levski to win Bulgarian Cup

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Supporters of Beroe (Reuters)

Levski staged a remarkable comeback by scoring twice within seven minutes to overcome a two-goal deficit despite playing with 10 men since the end of the first half but scored only one penalty through Stanislav Angelov.

In a festive atmosphere in the central town of Lovech, one half of the stadium was decked out in the green and white of Beroe, while the other was a sea of blue - the colour of 26-times Bulgarian champions Levski.

Despite Levski, playing in their 35th cup final, being the overwhelming favourites, Beroe enjoyed the better of a tense encounter with Portuguese striker Elio Martins emerging as their hero with his two first-half goals.

Ilian Yordanov netted Levski's only goal before the break following a fine run and a clever assist from pacy Dutch winger Garry Rodrigues but their captain Hristo Yovov was sent off shortly before the interval for a second bookable offence.

A blunder by French defender Romain Elie led to Beroe's third goal, scored by captain Georgi Andonov with 11 minutes remaining, and Levski immediately reduced the deficit thanks to another Portuguese striker, Joao Silva.

Rodrigues sent the Levski supporters wild with delight when he made 3-3 two minutes from time with Joao Silva turning provider.

The match was held up for several minutes after Levski's third goal when tempers boiled over and a steward fell and was unconscious for a short time.

Ivo Ivanov, Borislav Stoychev and Brazilian midfielder Elias made no mistake from the spot to secure the cup for Beroe for a second time following their 2010 triumph. The team were also runners-up four times between 1968 and 1980.

"This is one of the most memorable moments in Beroe's history," said Beroe coach Petar Hubchev, who won two league titles and two domestic cups with Levski as a player.

Levski, searching for their first trophy since 2009, could still win the domestic league as they are second in the table with 64 points, two points behind last year's champions Ludogorets with three games remaining.

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