Litex increase lead in Bulgaria

SOFIA - Litex Lovech defeated lowly Sportist Svoge 2-0 on Monday to take a four-point lead into the Bulgarian league's mid-season break and earn the honorary title of winter champions.

The Lovech-based club, champions in 1998 and 1999, recorded their 11th win in 15 matches thanks to goals from Hristo Yanev and Ivelin Popov to stretch their advantage at the top of the standings.

Litex, who are top at the halfway point for the first time in the last decade, have 35 points with their nearest rivals CSKA Sofia on 31. Champions Levski Sofia are fifth on 26.

Midfielder Yanev put the home side ahead with a 35th-minute free kick while Bulgaria international Popov, who came on as a second-half substitute, added the second eight minutes after the break.

"We'll increase the four-point lead next year and we'll be crowned champions long before the end of the championship," said a delighted Popov. "No doubt we're the best team in the league."