Moldovan champions FC Sheriff withstood fierce resistance from their Estonian counterparts FC Flora to eke out a one-goal advantage after their UEFA Champions League first qualifying round first-leg match in Tiraspol.
Both sides had been very active in the transfer market during the close season. Estonian international Kristen Viikmäe, on loan from Vålerenga IF, started in attack for the visitors but both sides struggled in front of goal in the opening period.
Sheriff had marginally the better of the proceedings and came close to opening the scoring after 27 minutes when Stanislav Ivanov's long-range effort was saved by Martin Kaalma.
New signings on
Sheriff introduced Brazilian summer signing Leandro Farias at the interval, along with Victor Barîsev, back on loan from FC Tiraspol, as they sought to break the deadlock.
Tudor on target
They had to wait until two minutes from the full-time whistle to finally score when Romanian striker Cristian Tudor found the target with a well-placed shot from 20 metres out. An encounter with Ukrainian giants FC Shakhtar Donetsk awaits whichever side eventually triumphs after next week's return in Tallinn.