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Levski Sofia coach rues missed chances against Ħamrun Spartans

Levski Sofia coach Stanimir Stoilov (left) with Branko Nisevic, his counterpart at Ħamrun Spartans. Photo: LAP IMAGES

Levski Sofia coach Stanimir Stoilov rued his team’s missed chances as the Bulgarian side were dumped out of the UEFA Europa Conference League by Maltese Premier League side Ħamrun Spartans.

The Bulgarian team, who were hosting the second leg after winning 1-0 at Ta Qali last week, had 19 total attempts with eight shots on target against Ħamrun’s four.

Levski were buoyed by their strong showings against PAOK, of Greece, in the second round and were expected to make it into the play-offs.

However, they could make their pressure count on home soil despite looking to have wrapped up qualification when they levelled terms deep into stoppage time through a bullet header by Tsunami.

“We had everything in our hands – chances, situations and the leveller in stoppage time,” Stoilov told Bulgarian media after the game.

“We made two simple mistakes and I think that is where the game turned around.”

Stoilov heaped praise on Branko Nisevic’s side even though he still believes that Levski deserved to qualify and face FK Partizan in the next stages of the competition.

“Ħamrun Spartans is a serious team, but we did not deserve to lose,” he said.

“But when you make mistakes, both in the defensive and offensive phase, you cannot expect to achieve a positive result.

“At the end then, penalties are a lottery but I think we should have won.”

For Stoilov, Levski cannot afford such mistakes if they want to improve as the coach will now seek a response from this elimination to help the 26-time Bulgarian champions become more competitive.

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