FC Viktoria Plzeň will appear in the UEFA Champions League group stage for the first time in their history after coming from behind to secure a 2-1 win against FC København and reach the group stage 5-2 on aggregate.
Though Christián Bolaños rocked the boat when he put Roland Nilsson's side ahead after 32 minutes, Plzeň stood by their attacking principles. They were duly rewarded with a poacher's equaliser midway through the second half by Marek Bakoš, and a last-gasp winner by Michal Ďuriš.
In spite of their need to reduce the arrears, København began slowly, a hopeful, errant long shot from Morten Nordstrand as much as they could muster before Bolaños stirred to life, luring a foul from David Limberský that gave Pierre Bengtsson the chance to curl a free-kick straight at Marek Čech.
But Plzeň were not set up to sit back, Petr Jiráček a perpetual thorn in the visitors' side with his probing runs down the left, and Daniel Kolář displaying fine close control up front. The 25-year-old might have scored on 25 minutes after tricking his way into the area and forcing Johan Wiland into a block with his feet, while more of Jiráček's wizardry carved out a chance for Milan Petržela, whose shot fizzed wide.
By then, however, FCK had scored against the run of play, César Santin's scurrying run and pass finding Bolaños on the right edge of the area, who drilled low into the far corner. Aware that two further goals were required to revive their UEFA Champions League hopes, the Danish champions showed greater purpose after the break, Dame N'Doye stretching Čech with a blistering shot from distance, but the visitors could find no way through a midfield marshalled expertly by their captain Pavel Horváth, and determined to maintain an attacking bent.
So it followed that more wonderful wing-play by Jiráček, presented Bakoš with the chance to score his sixth goal in five qualifying matches. The hosts could have finished with a flourish when Ďuriš was put clean through on goal in the last minute, only to be denied by Wiland, but there would be no denying the substitute in added time when he coolly finished Martin Fillo's quicksilver counterattack.
©UEFA.com 1998-2014. All rights reserved.