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Four-goal Faris dreams of AFC Cup final

AFC Cup
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By ESPN Staff

CSKA Sofia clinch Belgian title behind closed doors

PLOVDIV, Bulgaria, April 30 (Reuters) - CSKA Sofia clinched their 31st Bulgarian league title behind closed doors on Wednesday after a 3-1 win at mid-table Botev Plovdiv with three matches remaining.

No spectators watched the match as Botev were serving a two-match ban for crowd violence.

Victory secured the title as CSKA now have a 13-point lead over second-placed Levski Sofia, who have four games left.

"It's a pity that we won the title in the absence of the fans,", said CSKA coach Stoycho Mladenov told reporters.

"Football is a game for the fans and I think that the Bulgarian Football Union should reconsider its policy. No one likes to play in such silence."

CSKA's Brazilian striker Nei was on target twice in the first half, netting his third consecutive league double.

He opened the scoring with a close-range effort from Romanian midfielder Florentin Petre's right wing cross after 25 minutes.

Georgi Hristov, the league's top scorer, equalised for Botev from the penalty spot in the 32nd minute, taking his tally to 18 for the season.

But Nei restored CSKA's lead with a penalty awarded for a foul on Petre just before halftime and Petre put the result beyond doubt with a fine solo run and a powerful drive in the 85th minute.

CSKA have 71 points from 27 matches, while Levski, who play at Chernomorets Burgas later on Wednesday, are second on 58 points from 26.