FC Sheriff left it to the last possible moment to secure their UEFA Champions League play-off spot after a Jose Nadson strike deep into added time earned them a 1-1 draw at SK Slavia Praha and an away-goals success.
Slavia's result means the Czech Republic will have no representatives in this season's UEFA Champions League after AC Sparta Praha lost out to Panathinaikos FC on Tuesday although both have the consolation of going into Friday's UEFA Europa League play-off draw. Sheriff, who by reaching the third qualifying round had already achieved their best-ever European performance, are now one step away from the group stage after Nadson cancelled out Adam Hloušek's early opener.
Following the goalless first leg in Moldova, home coach Karel Jarolím sprung a surprise by picking defender Hloušek in attack alongside Stanislav Vlček. The decision looked inspired after 15 minutes when the 20-year-old, who arrived from FK Jablonec in the close season, headed in Benjamin Vomáčka's deflected shot. Slavia's Petr Janda narrowly missed the chance to double his side's lead just after the restart but, overall, the hosts struggled to turn their lion's share of possession into clear-cut opportunities. It was a shortcoming they were duly punished for in a frantic finish when Nadson struck in the third minute of stoppage time to square the tie at 1-1 and put Sheriff through on away goals.