Monday, September 16, 2019

Celtic 2 Sarajevo 1 (5-2 agg): Christie and McGregor seal place in Champions League second qualifyin

SoccerNews in Scottish Premier League 17 Jul 2019

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Celtic eased into the Champions League second qualifying round with a 2-1 home victory over Sarajevo, sending them through 5-2 on aggregate.

Leading 3-1 from the first leg, the Scottish champions added to their advantage when Ryan Christie fired in midway through the first half at Celtic Park on Wednesday.

The visitors pulled level on the night courtesy of a well-taken Benjamin Tatar goal against the run of play but Callum McGregor’s low strike with 14 minutes remaining killed off any lingering Sarajevo hopes of a comeback.

It was, ultimately, a comfortable victory for Neil Lennon’s side, who will meet Estonian champions Nomme Kalju in the next round.

The biggest cheer of the night came with 10 minutes remaining when striker Leigh Griffiths was introduced for his first competitive appearance since being given time off in December to resolve personal issues.

Lennon had warned his side before the match the tie was far from over and his side were given a scare in the opening minute when Mersudin Ahmetovic chipped over Scott Bain only for his effort to be ruled out for offside.

Celtic soon took control, however, and made their dominance count in the 26th minute as Odsonne Edouard found Christie, who controlled the ball with his outstretched right boot before firing high into the roof of the net with his left.

Sarajevo struck when Boli Bolingoli’s pass was intercepted and Ahmetovic nodded to the onrushing Tatar, who volleyed superbly inside the left post.

It was McGregor who had the final say, though, with a superb drilled strike from outside the box to ensure a comfortable outing for the Hoops.

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