Villarreal CF advanced to Thursday's UEFA Champions League group stage draw as they withstood an Everton FC fightback to emerge victorious on the night and on aggregate.
Juan Pablo Sorín's 21st-minute goal looked to have sealed the tie for the Spanish side, who led 2-1 from the first leg, but Mikael Arteta's equaliser with 21 minutes remaining restored hope for the visitors. They had one effort disallowed late on before Diego Forlán ended their challenge with a last-gasp strike.
Everton started with real intent and Tim Cahill was given a free header on 17 minutes but directed it weakly at Mariano Barbosa. The English team were made to pay for that profligacy six minutes later as Sorín's powerful shot deflected off Everton captain David Weir to leave keeper Nigel Martyn wrong-footed.
Villarreal on top
Buoyed by the breakthrough, Villarreal assumed control and Martyn denied them with a marvellous full-length save from Forlán's fierce drive in the 24th minute. Martyn and Forlán's private duel continued as competition debutants Villarreal continued to press. The Uruguayan cleverly got away from Joseph Yobo and fired in an effort from 20 metres which Martyn was equal to.
Martyn made another impressive stop in the 39th minute when he somehow got a hand to a curling free-kick from the inspirational Juan Román Riquelme and the former English international was again on hand to foil the Argentina playmaker just over a minute later. The 39-year-old was then called upon early in the second half to keep out Riquelme and Marcos Senna in quick succession, while Duncan Ferguson wasted an inviting headed opportunity at the other end.
Arteta on target
However, Everton reawakened the tie as a contest with a bolt from the blue after 69 minutes as their own Spaniard Arteta scored with a sublime free-kick from 25 metres. And the visitors almost drew level in the 74th minute as Cahill's cross came back off the bar with Barbosa beaten. Barbosa then tipped over a goal-bound header from Ferguson after 80 minutes as Everton stepped up the pressure.
Ferguson did manage to get the ball in the net moments later but referee Pierluigi Collina noticed an infringement and ruled out the effort. Everton continued to push forward but were caught out in injury time as Forlán swept in Sorín's cross. They now enter Friday's UEFA Cup first round draw.