SOFIA, May 24 (Reuters) - CSKA Sofia beat top-flight side Montana 1-0 in a pulsating Bulgarian Cup final on Tuesday to become the first third division outfit to win the competition in its 76-year history.
CSKA, the Balkan country’s most successful club, were demoted in June because of a financial crisis.
Unmarked midfielder Stanislav Malamov scored the only goal from close range, after Angel Granchov headed down captain Boris Galchev’s corner in the 12th minute, as his team lifted the trophy for the 20th time.
The lively Malamov almost doubled CSKA’s lead when he hit the post from Momchil Tsvetanov’s cross 12 minutes after the break and also missed another chance midway through the second half.
“These boys are giants and the victory is for them and our incredible fans,” said 37-year-old CSKA coach Hristo Yanev.
The 31-times Bulgarian league champions, who reached three European semi-finals between 1967 and 1989, are unbeaten in the third division this term after scoring 140 goals in 31 matches.
Earlier this month, CSKA said they would be allowed back into the top flight next season following secret talks with the Prime Minister.
Montana were playing in their first Bulgarian Cup final. (Reporting by Angel Krasimirov; Editing by Tony Jimenez)