SK Slavia Praha's hopes of reaching the UEFA Champions League knockout stage were extinguished but their point at FC Steaua Bucureşti, salvaged by Zdeněk Šenkeřík's late header, at least confirmed their UEFA Cup berth.
On the day that Steaua celebrated the 50th anniversary of their first match in European club competition, Valentin Badea's early goal, their first in front of their own supporters in Group H, looked to have given them their first win in the section. Šenkeřík's intervention, though, kept their Czech opponents four points ahead of them in the battle for third spot and denied Steaua their first home win in Europe's premier club compeition for eleven years. As it transpired, even a win would not have reprieved Slavia's dreams of reaching the last 16 as Sevilla FC's success at home to Arsenal FC ensured both those sides would progress.
Marius Lăcătuş's side nearly made the perfect start when Nicolae Dică drilled in a low shot from 20 metres but Adrian Neaga's follow-up was ruled out for offside after Martin Vaniak had parried the first effort. They did not have long to wait to take the lead. Badea was put through the middle by Dică's lobbed pass and, as David Hubáček and Marek Suchý descended upon him, he scrambled the ball past the Slavia goalkeeper. The goal prompted the visitors into a response and Ladislav Volešák called Robinson Zapata into action with a free-kick from distance.
Steaua continued to be the dominant force though and nearly extended their lead when Marius Croitoru cut the ball back for Neaga, only for the striker to poke wide from ten metres under pressure from Suchý. The second goal looked a certainty when Dică provided another perfect ball into the box but Badea shot straight at Vaniak from six metres with the goalkeeper somehow deflecting the ball over the crossbar. Aside from the lack of another goal, the only downside to the first-half display for the home side was the yellow card awarded to Croitoru for his foul on Daniel Pudil which meant he would miss their final group match against Arsenal.
The second half was a much more even affair with neither side able to assume the upper hand, while Vaniak and Zapata did not have any saves of note to make until the final 15 minutes, more to the consternation of Karel Jarolím than his opposite number. It was Vaniak who eventually showed his agility first when he surged off his line to clear before sprinting back to make a fine stop from Croitoru's follow-up. The save proved important as Šenkeřík, who had scored in Slavia's 2-1 win in the first game between the sides, levelled with 12 minutes left when he powerfully headed in a cross from Mickaël Tavares.