Germany will have five representatives in Friday's UEFA Cup Round of 32 draw after 1. FC Nürnberg impressively won 3-1 at Larissa FC to qualify from Group A.
The Greek side were already eliminated and determined to bow out on a high. Jozef Kožlej lifted spirits when breaking the deadlock after eleven minutes but that was as good as it got for Larissa. Ivan Saenko equalised on the stroke of half-time and further goals from Marek Mintál and Greece striker Angelos Charisteas secured an away win for Nürnberg and second place in the section – knocking AZ Alkmaar out in the process.
Having lost their three previous assignments in the section, Larissa found some early encouragement when Kožlej applied a neat finish after an initial long-range shot from Christos Kalatzis had ricocheted into his path through a crowd of Nürnberg players. The goal sparked the visitors to life, however, and Mintál went close with a couple of efforts from distance before a defensive error handed them the equaliser a minute into added time.
Georgios Galitsios was the unfortunate Larissa defender whose clearance found Saenko, who made no mistake from just inside the penalty area. Not surprisingly, it was Nürnberg who came out after the break looking confident and they were 2-1 up after 57 minutes when Saenko picked out the run of Mintál with a sublime pass and the midfielder neatly slotted the ball into the left-hand corner.
Despite a couple of half-chances for Larissa, Nürnberg looked more likely to score the fourth goal of the night and Charisteas did so from another defensive slip in the 73rd minute. Larissa's UEFA Cup high came in the first round when they eliminated Blackburn Rovers FC, while Nürnberg join Hamburger SV, 1. FC Nürnberg, FC Bayern München and Bayer 04 Leverkusen in the last 32.