Jon Dahl Tomasson scored early in both halves as Villarreal CF secured their passage to the Round of 32, their victory ending IF Elfsborg's own faint hopes.
Tomasson has history in the UEFA Cup, having claimed a winners' medal with Feyenoord in 2002, and struck his second of the 2007/08 campaign after just two minutes at El Madrigal. In their final Group C outing having claimed a solitary point from their first three games, the Swedish visitors were determined to make their mark and Denni Avdic almost did just before half-time with a brilliant long-range effort that cannoned back off the woodwork. Tomasson made it 2-0 soon after the restart, however, and could have claimed a hat-trick late on but was denied by Johan Wiland.
It proved a busy evening for the visiting goalkeeper, whose first task was to pluck the ball out of the net early on after Tomasson turned in Nihat Kahveci's low cross. Villarreal counterpart Diego López did not enjoy the night off either, and but for his superb save Mathias Svensson would have restored parity midway through the half following a Pascal Cygan error. The former Arsenal FC man sought to make amends, and after Nihat twice went close from distance, the defender forced a fine save out of Wiland following a corner.
As half-time approached Avdic rattled the post with a fizzing effort and it proved pivotal. Six minutes after the interval Matías Fernández produced a sumptuous pass to Tomasson, who drilled in. He had a chance to claim a treble when he was brought down by Wiland, but the keeper composed himself to save the spot-kick. Elfsborg nevertheless exit as Villarreal moved into first place, which they will confirm by winning at AEK Athens FC on 20 December.