PFC Levski Sofia are one round away from their second appearance in the UEFA Champions League group stage after two second-half goals against FK Bakı enabled them to progress to the play-off round.
Having drawn the first leg 0-0 in Baku a week ago, both sides opted for a more cautious approach in the first half but the hosts eventually wore down the Azerbaijani champions after the restart and goals from Hristo Yovov and Georgi Hristov sealed their place in Friday's draw.
The pitch in Sofia was heavy due to persistent rain and this played its part in a first half of few chances. The Bulgarian champions earned the majority share of possession but managed just one clear opportunity, Cédric Bardon shooting just wide in the 39th minute. Levski suffered a blow two minutes later when the injured Joãozinho had to be replaced by Darko Tasevski but the enforced switch turned out to be a blessing in disguise.
The home side took control of the game after the break with Zé Soares's header flying over in the 61st minute. Three minutes later, Levski finally took the lead when Tasevski provided the killer pass for Yovov to score from close range. The visitors tried to react quickly as coach Gjokica Hadzievski threw on Amiran Mujiri and Giorgi Adamia but it was Ratko Dostanić's men who scored the vital second goal. Tasevski produced another fine assist for striker Hristov to make it 2-0 with ten minutes to go, sending the beaten Bakı side into the UEFA Europa League play-off round.