Tomas Chory's winner 18 minutes from time secured Viktoria Plzen a place in the Europa League, as it 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, which was already sure of second spot, looked every inch a side with nothing on the line during the first half, as it offered precious little going forward and just about survived falling behind – Jan Kovarik looking particularly lively for the host.
Kovarik opened the scoring just after the hour and, although Cengiz Under pegged the opposition 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 was lucky to not find itself behind in the 26th minute, but it was let off the hook as Kovarik smashed offer from 12 yards after the visitor was 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.
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