A stoic defensive effort served Stade Rennais FC well as they held CA Osasuna to a goalless draw in Pamplona to progress to the group stage of the UEFA Cup.
Holding a 3-1 advantage from the first leg, Rennes appeared happy to defend their lead and having been inconsistent in Ligue 1, they were clearly determined not to let their poor domestic form creep on to the European stage.
Marcelo Sosa had the first chance for the home side, unleashing a long-range effort which Rennes goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson held comfortably after nine minutes. Eight minutes later Savo Milošević might have done better with a Ludovic Delporte cross which he headed wide. Rennes were clearly intent on consolidation and their first chance took 36 minutes to materialise when Etienne Didot went close.
Isaksson on form
The attacking impetus was once again provided by the Spanish side as the second period got under way and Raúl García's 15-metre shot was well held by Isaksson. The Rennes goalkeeper then pulled off a superb fingertip save to deny Pierre Webó again as the pressure on the French team's goal mounted.
Osasuna attacked at the expense of leaving themselves vulnerable in defence, and Olivier Monterubbio almost exposed them with a good strike that rebounded off the post with 30 minutes to play.
With nine minutes remaining the visitors brought on Alexander Frei, their two-goal hero from the first leg, although it failed to disrupt Osasuna's charge as Carlos Cuéllar forced Isaksson into yet another reflex stop. But for all their possession the hosts were continually thwarted and it was a job well done for Rennes, who can now look forward to Tuesday's draw for the group stage.