ACF Fiorentina safely negotiated their passage to the UEFA Champions League group stage for the first time since 1999/2000 with a goalless draw at SK Slavia Praha.
The Italian side had won the home leg 2-0 a fortnight ago and managed to protect their lead, meaning Europe's élite club competition will be without a Czech team this season after AC Sparta Praha were knocked out by Panathinaikos FC on Tuesday.
Home coach Karel Jarolím made six changes from the side defeated in Italy while Fiorentina stuck to a similar lineup, with only Romania forward Adrian Mutu – the first goalscorer in Florence, who had since dislocated his elbow on international duty – and Denmark defender Per Krøldrup not starting. The visitors looked the better team in the opening exchanges and created several chances. Mario Alberto Santana went close after meeting a 19th-minute corner but was denied by home goalkeeper Martin Vaniak.
The Slavia custodian was forced into further action just after the half-hour, touching a Felipe Melo de Carvalho shot on to the crossbar. The Czech titleholders came back strongly after the break as both Zdeněk Šenkeřík and Dušan Švento were introduced to good effect. Tijani Belaid and Erich Brabec were guilty of near misses yet Slavia were simply unable break the deadlock. At the other end, Alberto Gilardino raced clear but Matej Krajčík got back just in time and the game ended in stalemate. Slavia will now seek to impress on the continental stage in the UEFA Cup while the Viola can look forward to Thursday's group stage draw.