CSKA SOFIA, who once ended Liverpool's defence of the European Cup, gave themselves the chance of causing another upset when a late goal saw them to a 3-2 home win over Juventus.
The absence of the injured Roberto Baggio from the Juve line- up made a significant difference as the Italians wasted a number of scoring chances, but they should still progress to the second round of the Uefa Cup after the return leg.
Petar Mihtarski, CSKA's only current international, proved the decisive factor, equalising just before half-time and only six minutes after Sergio Porrini had put the Italians ahead. The Bulgarians went ahead through Milen Radukanov with 20 minutes left only for Alessandro Del Piero to capitalise on defensive sloppiness and put Juventus on level terms five minutes later. However, in the 82nd minute, Mihtarski stole away to score the winner.
It was not much of a night for Italy, with Parma also losing narrowly away from home. They went down 1-0 to Vitesse Arnhem in the Netherlands, the former Aberdeen striker, Hans Gillhaus, scoring the only goal. Parma finished with 10 men after the Portuguese defender, Fernando Couto, was sent off 10 minutes from time for pushing his hand into Philip Cocu's face.
Nor was there cause for joy in northern Spain. The Basque powerhouse, Athletic Bilbao, lost 2-0 to Anorthosis in Cyprus, and Deportivo La Coruna went down 1-0 to Rosenborg Trondheim in Norway.
Nantes paid the price for some defensive lapses when they lost 3-2 to Rotor Volgograd in Russia. Nicolas Ouedec gave the French league leaders a 28th-minute lead but the Russians, making their European debut, then scored three times and were denied a fourth.
Vladimir Geraschenko and Sergei Nechai headed in from corners that Nantes failed to deal with and then Oleg Veretnikov's 25-metre free-kick took a deflection off a Nantes defender and wrong-footed the French goalkeeper, David Marraud. Veretnikov had the ball in the net again, but the referee had spotted an offside and then the Chad striker, Japhet N'Doram, made the Russians pay for a lapse of concentration by stealing a late goal that could prove important.Reuse content