Rostov battled to a goalless draw in their final Champions League Group D fixture away at PSV Eindhoven, which was enough for the Russians to reach the Europa League.
After pulling off a surprise 3-2 home win over Bayern Munich in their last European tie, Rostov -- debutants in the Champions League group stages this season -- only required a draw in Holland to beat PSV to third place.
Rostov head coach Ivan Danilyants opted to deploy Sardar Azmoun in a lone striker role as the visitors appeared content to soak up plenty of pressure and hit on the counter-attack.
Following a cautious start, PSV threatened when Bart Ramselaar fired over from the edge of the penalty area and as the half-hour mark passed dragged a low shot wide.
In first-half stoppage time, defender Santiago Arias saw his goalbound effort put behind after Rostov keeper Soslan Dzanaev had raced out to clear.
PSV head coach Phillip Cocu had seen his side win just three from the past 13 games in all competitions, and looked to make some impact changes on the hour mark with the introduction of Siem de Jong and Gaston Pereiro.
However, the Dutch side failed to break down a determined Rostov defence, as Ramselaar was again crowded out when trying to find space in the penalty area.
PSV captain Luuk de Jong headed over from a corner before Steven Bergwijn nodded wide.
With 11 minutes left, Siem de Jong's goal-bound effort was saved by Dzanaev.
Ramselaar then had a shot hacked off the line as PSV's evening ended in frustration with last season's Eredivisie champions bottom of the table.