Tomas Chory's winner 18 minutes from time secured Viktoria Plzen a place in the Europa League, as they beat Roma 2-1 to pip CSKA Moscow to third place in Group G.
Although CSKA claimed a remarkable 3-0 win away to Real Madrid, the Czech club just needed to get the same number of points as the Russians due to their superior head-to-head record and they showed admirable character to progress.
Roma, who were already sure of second spot, looked every inch a side with nothing on the line during the first half, as they offered precious little going forward and just about survived falling behind – Jan Kovarik looking particularly lively for the hosts.
Kovarik opened the scoring just after the hour and, although Cengiz Under pegged them back, Chory got what proved to be the winner in the 72nd minute, rendering CSKA's efforts at the Santiago Bernabeu useless.
The first half was one of very few chances, as Roma failed to offer much spark despite naming a strong starting XI.
Roma were lucky to not find themselves behind in the 26th minute, but they were let off the hook as Kovarik smashed over from 12 yards after the visitors were unable to clear a right-wing cross.
Kovarik threatened again just before half-time, but Chory somehow failed to connect with his brilliant controlled volley across the face of goal.
The lively Kovarik eventually got his goal in the 62nd minute, tapping in Jan Kopic's low cross on the break.
Under levelled five minutes later with a neat 20-yard finish into the bottom-left corner after Davide Santon's cut-back, but Plzen had the last laugh.
But, at the other end, Kovarik lashed a half-volley at Antonio Mirante after being released into the box and Chory was on hand to head the rebound beyond the helpless goalkeeper, with a stoppage-time Luca Pellegrini red card for a flailing elbow making things worse for Roma.
What does it mean? Plzen's character shines through
It cannot have been easy for Plzen to have rallied again after Under's equaliser, but if anything they were even better after that goal. The winner was the least they deserved, and they could have got more.
They can now look forward to Europa League football after the festive period, their final total of seven points from a tough group a more than respectable return. Roma, meanwhile, will eagerly await the last-16 draw.
Kovarik the key man for Plzen
Although he was guilty of a bad miss in the first half, Kovarik was a constant nuisance and made amends for wasting that early chance by scoring a well-worked goal after the break.
Pastore offers little craft
Surrounded by the less experienced Patrik Schick, Justin Kluivert and Under, the onus was on Pastore to take the creative lead in midfield, but he next to no impact in creating just one chance and was replaced by another youngster – Nicolo Zaniolo – just before the hour.
Key Opta Facts:
- Roma have conceded at least once in each of their last 30 away games in the Champions League, the joint-longest run in the competition's history alongside Celtic.
- Under has been involved in four goals in his last five Champions League games (three goals, one assist).
- Under is just the second Turkish player to score 3+ goals in a Champions League campaign for a non-Turkish side, after Arda Turan did so for Atletico Madrid in 2013-14 and Barcelona in 2016-17 (both 4 goals).
- Seven of the eight goals conceded by Roma in Champions League this season have been scored in the second half.
Plzen will be looking to keep the pressure Sparta Prague at the top of the table on Sunday when they host Karvina, while Roma host Genoa on the same day hoping to move back into Serie A's European places.
24 de abril 2019
|NFL Draft 2019: Teams with most riding on outcome|
|NFL Draft 2019: Five best first-round fits|
|Emery launches defence of Arsenal´s Mustafi|
|Valverde not bothered when Barca are crowned LaLiga champions|
|We have a chance to make change – Sterling calls for more to be done to combat racism|
|Solskjaer: Man Utd not ready to compete with City or Liverpool next season|
|Pochettino still harbours hope of Eriksen extension|
|Klopp set for Dortmund reunion in US friendly|
23 de abril 2019
|49ers kicker Gould trying to force trade|
|Saracens wing Strettle to retire|
|Sevastova serves up Stuttgart bagel to oust Ostapenko|
|Man City have ´definitely not´ been offered Pogba again, insists Guardiola|
|Lucky loser Jarry shocks struggling Zverev in Barcelona|
|Guardiola rejects Solskjaer claims over City fouls|
|Deportivo Alaves 0 Barcelona 2: Alena and Suarez put champions-elect on brink of title|
|Rams pick up Goff´s fifth-year option|
|Hamburg 1 RB Leipzig 3: Poulsen and Forsberg fire visitors into DFB-Pokal final|
|Watford 1 Southampton 1: Gray cancels out Long´s record-breaking strike|
|Tottenham 1 Brighton and Hove Albion 0: Eriksen´s late stunner gives Spurs control in top-four battl|
|Long, King and the Premier League´s fastest goalscorers|
|Playing alongside Ronaldo is a pleasure, says Dybala|
|Watson ends drought as Super Kings go top|
|Southampton´s Long scores Premier League´s fastest goal|
|Seahawks reportedly send Frank Clark to Chiefs|
|AFC Champions League Review: Giovinco strike earns 10-man Al-Hilal win|
|Messi benched for Deportivo Alaves v Barcelona|
|Alexander-Arnold happy to support United in Manchester derby|
|Hudson-Odoi to have surgery on ruptured Achilles tendon|
|NFL Draft 2019 Big Board: Murray & Bosa the top prospects|
|ATP to decide on Gimelstob future following sentencing|
|F1 Raceweek: Ferrari looking to kick-start season with SF90 updates in Baku|
|Gattuso rejects surprise Newcastle links|
|Leeds United´s Alioski to miss remainder of Championship season|
|Injured Anderson to miss clay-court season|
|Manchester City star De Bruyne out of derby as Guardiola urges caution|
|I perfectly understand his position – Guardiola supports under-fire Solskjaer|
|Emery urges Arsenal to retain belief in top-four race|
|Mahrez is going nowhere - Guardiola|
|Simeone delighted ´extraordinary´ Oblak has signed new Atletico deal|
|O´Sullivan ´struggled to stay awake´ in Crucible upset|
|O´Sullivan stunned by amateur Cahill in another early exit|
|Wolfsburg confirm Glasner as new head coach|
|Suns fire coach Kokoskov after one season|
|Iniesta named new Vissel Kobe captain|
|Retiring too early would haunt me forever - Khan|
|Burnley laugh off ´anti-football´ jibes|
|Solskjaer convinced he can turn Manchester United´s slump around|
|Halep withdraws from Stuttgart Open with hip injury|
|They will snap at your ankles and kick you - Solskjaer mindful of Man City tactics|
|Sterling says racism ´runs deep´ in football & calls for radical changes|
|Defending Favors ´draining´ for Rockets – Harden|
|Mitchell thanks Jazz team-mates after flashing Game 4 warning at Rockets|
|Former Celtic captain and manager McNeill dies aged 79|
|Zaha´s desire to leave Palace understandable – Dann|
|General manager Gould to leave Panthers|
|Jovic set for greatness amid Barca and Madrid links – Milosevic|
|Rays bounce back with win over Royals|
|Bucks´ progress an ´unbelievable journey´, says Giannis|
|Bucks complete sweep of Pistons, Jazz hold off Rockets|
|From Australia to Yokohama: Postecoglou wants to leave mark on Japanese football|
|Fowler ´can´t see´ Man United denying City|
|Fowler confirmed as Brisbane Roar coach|
|Miller doesn´t deserve to be in the ring – Joshua|
|Dyche dismisses ´anti-football´ accusations|
|First time in my life – Milner supporting United in Manchester derby|
|Cowboys´ Cooper describes relationship with Prescott|
|Zola suggests Chelsea to report Burnley after Sarri was allegedly ´offended´|
|Nets´ Dudley doubles down on Simmons comments|
|Hudson-Odoi says his season is over with ruptured Achilles tendon|
|Arthur backs Pakistan to mount World Cup challenge|