An injury-inspired substitution was the key to AJ Auxerre's 1-0 win against BV Borussia Dortmund.
AJ Auxerre coach Guy Roux admitted that the introduction of goal hero Benjani Mwaruwari in the 1-0 win against BV Borussia Dortmund only came about after midfield player Teemu Tainio picked up an injury just before half-time.
Mwaruwari breaks deadlock
The striker's introduction for the second period seemed an inspired decision as the Zimbabwean international scored the only goal of the game to secure the French side's qualification for the UEFA Cup after Group A rivals PSV Eindhoven could only draw at Arsenal FC.
Roux said: "Tainio complained of the injury at half-time and he could not play on. I wanted to open up the midfield more so I brought Mwaruwari on and it worked out well for us. I believed we could score and so it turned out."
Although Auxerre will not take any further part in this season's UEFA Champions League, Roux believes that his side have a bright future. The 64-year-old said: "In the end we have seven points and with this new generation we can be satisfied with what is to come."
He added: "Dortmund were a very well-organised side – very sharp, with a good style of play. They were very good opposition. After all, they had ten internationals out there and most of the Germany squad."
Dortmund coach Matthias Sammer complained that his side were forced into a tactical change when the experienced Jörg Heinrich limped out of the encounter midway through the first half. He said: "We couldn't play the way we wanted after Heinrich came off, but we kept the game open as long as we could and we are frustrated as we could have got a draw."
With Arsenal drawing at home to PSV the same result would have taken the German champions through to the next stage as group winners. However, their cause may not have been helped by Sammer's decision to leave Brazilian striker Marcio Amoroso on the bench, giving a debut instead to countryman Leandro.
Sammer said: "I decided to leave [Marcio] Amoroso on the bench as it was a good opportunity to play Leandro. I wanted to see how he would fit in alongside our other attackers. It was as simple as that - it was a tactical decision."