St Patrick's Athletic will have to overcome a two-goal deficit if they are to become the first Irish side to make it through to the group stages of a European competition after they lost 2-0 in their UEFA Cup first round first leg away to Hertha Berlin.
Read Shane Murray's minute-by-minute text matchtracker.
After a goalless first half, the hosts took the lead after 50 minutes thanks to a clinical volley from Maximilian Nicu.
Pat's had few chances throughout the match and fell two behind with 14 minutes left on the clock after Brazilian Cicero slotted home after some neat work from Liverpool's Andriy Voronin, who is on a season-long loan at the club.
Keith Fahey and Mark Quigley both shrugged off injury worries to make the starting line-up for the match at the Olymic Stadium, Berlin, where the 2006 World Cup final took place.
Josip Simunic, who lined up against England for Croatia in Zagreb last week, started in a Berlin side that also included Brazilians Kaka and Cicero.
Several hundred Pat's fans made the trip to Germany and they were given an early scare by defender Jason Gavin.
He was lucky not to concede a penalty in the third minute when he appeared to charge a Marko Pantelic shot down in the area with his arm.
Polish referee Tomasz Mikulski waved away protests to Gavin's relief.
Pat's goalkeeper Barry Ryan then pulled off a top save to prevent the Germans taking the lead after Pantelic raced through after 14 minutes.
Pat's only decent chance of the half came just before the break when Gary O'Neill came agonisingly close to tapping home Quigley's cross.
The home side then pushed for a goal, but some last-gasp defending from Dessie Byrne meant both sides went in at half-time level.
Hertha coach Lucien Favre introduced Nicu and Fabian Lustenberger at half-time and midfielder Nicu repaid his manager by breaking the deadlock within five minutes of his arrival.
The 25-year-old took advantage of panic in the box after Pat's failed to clear a corner and rifled a volley over Ryan to give the 2006 Intertoto Cup champions the lead.
But the eircom League side then hit back and Simunic saved Berlin's blushes on 59 minutes when he cleared off the line from a Jamie Harris header.
The hosts doubled their lead after 76 with a well-taken goal after Voronin played in Pantelic.
His shot then deflected into Cicero's path who slotted home coolly past Ryan.
The home side then pushed for a third to put the final nail in Pat's coffin, but their defence held strong.
John McDonnell's side will have to play at their best, however, if they are to come close to challenging the German side in the return leg in two weeks' time.