Lyon progressed to the group stage of the Champions League on Wednesday after a 1-1 draw against Rubin Kazan gave them a 4-2 victory on aggregate.
The French side beat Rubin 3-1 in an open and entertaining first leg last week, and the Russians were unable to overturn the deficit in a cagey second leg in Kazan.
Rubin took the lead in the 77th minute through Israeli midfielder Bibras Natcho, who smashed home a knockdown from Obafemi Martins.
Recent Lyon acquisition Bakary Kone headed the equalizer three minutes from time after the Burkino Faso international beat home goalkeeper Sergei Ryzhikov to a corner.
Igor Lebedenko crashed a header against the crossbar for the hosts at 68 minutes, and Lyon’s Anthony Reveillere looped a late shot onto the woodwork.
French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris made two sharp saves from Rubin substitute Aleksei Medvedev in the dying minutes.
Rubin were ucharacteristically defensive in the first hour, only seriously began on the hour mark. Lyon exposed the inevitable gaps at the back, and missed two one-on-one chances that fell to Bafetimbi Gomis, the scorer of two goals in France, and the Argentinean forward Lisandro Lopez.
Rubin’s exit leaves Russian champions Zenit St. Petersburg and CSKA Moscow, who qualified automatically, leading the Russian challenge in the group stage. The draw is Thursday.
Rubin’s European campaign will continue in the Europa League.