James Forrest’s superb second-half strike was enough for Celtic to progress to the Champions League play-offs with a 1-0 aggregate victory over Rosenborg.
After a goalless draw at Parkhead last week it was another tight affair in Trondheim and it was Forrest that came up with a moment of magic to make the difference.
Forrest had plenty to do after being fed by Scott Sinclair on the right-side of the penalty area, but he bamboozled full-back Birger Meling and hammered a shot in off the crossbar.
The Scotland international had a golden chance to add a second goal to make the game safe when he ran clear on goal, only to hesitate and allow goalkeeper Andre Hansen to make the save.
Brendan Rodgers’ men then went on the defensive and closed out a hard-fought win to ensure they remain in the competition, while dumping the Norwegian champions out.
Celtic will find out their opponents in the Champions League play-off round when the draw is made on Friday.
The first shot of the game arrived after 14 tight minutes, with Milan Jevtovic shooting straight at Craig Gordon, before Mikael Lustig fired over the crossbar on the volley at the other end.
Erik Sviatchenko then headed Kieran Tierney’s deep free-kick goalwards but striker Nicklas Bendtner was in place to make the block and the centre-back was soon forced off with an injury.
Celtic continued to threaten and Hansen had to react quickly to tip Forrest’s effort over the crossbar.
Yann-Erik de Lanlay burst on to Bendtner’s chested lay-off and drilled wide from 20 yards as Rosenborg made a bright start to the second half.
69 – GAL FOR CELTIC!!!!! [0-1] pic.twitter.com/EcCtc5nkwv
— Celtic Football Club (@celticfc) August 2, 2017
But after 68 minutes Celtic finally broke the deadlock with a superb strike from Forrest.
Sinclair’s driving run and pass gave the winger space to attack Meling and when Forrest had space to shoot he unleashed a powerful drive that crashed in off the crossbar.
Substitute Leigh Griffiths and Lustig both went close to making the scoreline more comfortable for the Scottish champions and Forrest should have doubled the lead after seizing on a loose pass, only to dally and allow Hansen to make the save.
But one goal was enough to see Celtic through and Rodgers’ side are now one round away from the Champions League group stages.
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