Pierre Webó's header nine minutes from time earned Fenerbahçe SK a crucial advantage at the halfway stage of their UEFA Europa League round of 16 tie against FC Viktoria Plzeň.
The Turkish giants will be hopeful of finishing the job in Istanbul next week after creating the better of the few chances at the Stadion města Plzně. The best of those fell to Webó, who headed into an empty net after Matúš Kozáčik had saved from Moussa Sow, ending the hosts' nine-game unbeaten streak at home in Europe.
Caution took precedence over adventure for both sides early on, however, with Mehmet Topal's tame effort from range the only time either goalkeeper was forced to work in the opening half hour.
It took a fearsome drive by Fenerbahçe's Cristian, which needed beating around the post by Kozáčik, to bring the contest to life on 35 minutes. František Rajtoral was then unfortunate to strike the crossbar at the other end, but it was the visitors who spurned the best opportunity of the half when Dirk Kuyt sent Sow's cross sailing over with the goal gaping.
The second period followed a similar pattern until a flurry from Fenerbahçe threatened the deadlock around the hour mark. Sow was denied brilliantly by Kozáčik when his rasping strike seemed to be heading for the top corner, before Cristian fired straight at the keeper.
Reto Ziegler went close twice – with a deflected free-kick and a right-footed shot after cutting in from the left – but, just as Plzeň looked to have weathered the storm, Webó nodded into the empty net to leave Aykut Kocaman's men in the driving seat.