Serbia U19s came from behind to register a 26-20 victory, after debutants Bulgaria came close to a shock upset win on their debut in Sofia in front of 300 fans at the ŽTP Stadium.
The hosts led 16-10 at the break, fullback Aleksander Aleksandrov with their historic opening try, the lead doubled by Kostadin Debrenaev in the 20th minute.
Vladimir Milutinović with his first touchdown and a goal responded but Bulgarian stand off Veselin Pekhev extended the home side’s lead, Ilija Krstić going over for the Serbians just before half time to marrow the lead to six points.
Ivan Andrić and a Milutinović goal levelled straight from the re-start, but outstanding Pekhev with his second restored the Bulgarians advantage.
Greater experience saw the visitors, who are preparing for the U19s European Championships later this year, finish the stronger, excellent skipper Milutinović claiming his double and 14 points overall, and back rower Stevan Ivanković with the clinching score.
BULGARIA U19: 20
Aleksander Aleksandro, Hristan Ivanov, Milen Nikolov, Aleks Dokoziev, Devis Beka, Veselin Pekhev, Kostadin Debrenaev, Mladen Mladenov, Dimitar Čanev, Svetlin Petkov, Denis Ivanov, Kiril Atanasov, Dimitar Ananiev
Subs: Radostin Drakanov, Stefan Dimitrov, Stefan Milenov, Marin Penev.
Tries: Aleksander Aleksandrov (9), Kostadin Debrenaev (20), Veselin Pekhev (30, 48)
Goals: Veselin Pekhev 2/3, Kostadin Debrenaev 0/1
SERBIA U19: 26
Vuk Tomić, Luka Rašković, Aleksandar Štefulj, Dorotej Dado Arnold, Ivan Andrić, Marko Jakovljević, Ilija Krstić, Mihajlo Stoiljković, Mihailo Tomić, Marko Šatev, Marko Makera, Stefan Ivanković, Vladimir Milutinović Subs: Emir Ahmeti, Marko Simović, Mateja Vinš, Uroš Golubović, Matija Prokić, Luka Ivanović
Tries: Vladimir Milutinović (25, 56), Ilija Krstić (35), Ivan Andrić (40), Stevan Ivanković (66)
Goals: Vladimir Milutinović 3/5