Substitute Victor Anichebe produced a stunning cameo as Everton secured an impressive Uefa Cup win at Nuremberg.
Everton's Anichebe (left) receives praise from fellow striker Yakubu
Anichebe was wrestled to the ground with seven minutes left for Mikel Arteta to score from the spot, before the striker ran through to slot home.
The Toffees nearly took the lead after 24 seconds, denied when Jaromir Blazek saved from Arteta and Tim Cahill.
Nuremberg created chances of their own but Peer Kluge rifled wide and Dominik Reinhardt was denied by Tim Howard.
It was a tough way to finish on the German side after an even contest, but means Everton are now almost certain to progress to the next round.
They had to wait so long for their goals but they so nearly went ahead from the game's first attack, Arteta's fierce drive parried away by Blazek into the path of Cahill, the Australian's shot deflected onto a post by Blazek's legs.
The Toffees were almost left to rue not taking their early opportunity when Joleon Lescott crazily gave the ball away to Ivan Saenko, the striker racing through only to be denied by the advancing Howard.
It was turning into an open and exciting encounter with both sides pressing hard for an opener and play switching from end-to-end.
Leon Osman found space down the right but his cross just evaded the onrushing Cahill, before Kluge rifled a shot inches wide of Howard's right-hand post as the visitors countered.
Everton almost gifted Nuremberg a goal again when Steven Pienaar dummied the ball straight to Reinhardt, but the midfielder's shot was parried away to safety by Howard at full stretch.
Just before the break Everton were presented with a golden chance when Blazek weakly punched a corner half-clear, but Yakubu swung and missed from four yards before Blazek pounced on the Nigerian's weak follow-up shot.
Leon Osman (right) and Tomas Galasek tussle for possession
Proceedings did not slow down after the break either, as both teams went gung-ho for an opener.
Everton's defence had looked uncharacteristically nervy all evening and they backed off once again, allowing Marek Mintal to smash in a left-foot shot that Howard again did well to block.
At the other end the classy Arteta drilled in a shot from the right that swerved awkwardly in front of Blazek and produced a fumble from the keeper, though no visiting players were on hand to take advantage.
But the game turned in the 75th minute, when the tiring Yakubu was replaced by the fresh legs of Anichebe.
And how those fresh legs made the difference. The young hitman powered his way into the box and was unceremoniously dumped to the ground by Leandro Glauber, with Arteta coolly dispatching the penalty.
Moments later Anichebe picked the ball up wide on the right, surged into the area and expertly tucked the ball past the advancing Blazek from a tight angle.
Boss David Moyes will rarely have made a change that made a bigger impact.
Everton manager David Moyes on Anichebe:
"Victor made some impact, what a way to finish that was.
"He has been struggling with a broken hand and I wasn't sure whether to put him on, just shows what I know!
"Overall I thought it was a good performance, we did well enough. They had one or two chances early on as we did, but they are a good side too."
Nuremberg: Blazek, Schmidt (Kennedy 76), Glauber (Benko 86), Wolf, Reinhardt, Galasek, Kluge, Mnari, Mintal, Misimovic, Saenko (Pagenburg 85).
Subs Not Used: Klewer, Beauchamp, Kristiansen, Engelhardt.
Booked: Blazek, Glauber.
Everton: Howard, Neville, Yobo, Lescott, Nuno Valente, Arteta, Carsley, Cahill (Jagielka 90), Osman, Pienaar (Hibbert 90), Yakubu (Anichebe 75).
Subs Not Used: Wessels, Gravesen, McFadden, Vidarsson.
Booked: Nuno Valente, Yobo.
Goals: Arteta 83 pen, Anichebe 88.
Ref: Alberto Undiano Mallenco (Spain).