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  • Forrest the hero as dominant Celts triumph in Norway

    Forrest the hero as dominant Celts triumph in Norway

    By: Laith Al Naeme in Trondheim on 02 Aug, 2017 21:57

  • UEFA Champions League, third qualifying round second-leg
    Lerkendal Stadion, Trondheim
    Wednesday, August 2, 2017

    ROSENBORG...0

    CELTIC…1
    (Forrest 69)

    Celtic win 1-0 on aggregate

    JAMES Forrest was the hero as Celtic booked their place in the play-off round of the UEFA Champions League tonight following a hard-fought 1-0 win over Rosenborg in Norway.

    With 21 minutes left on the clock, the winger’s ferocious angled strike finally broke the deadlock in the tie, with the first-leg in Paradise finishing 0-0, and from that moment, the outcome of the contest never looked in doubt as the Hoops comfortably saw out the closing stages.

    It was a courageous performance from Brendan Rodgers’ men who will now wait to see their pairing in the draw for the play-off which takes place on Friday.

    Erik Sviatchenko had handed the Bhoys a boost before kick-off by winning his fitness battle to take his place in the starting XI. He was one of three changes to the team that faced the Norwegians at Paradise last week, the Danish defender replacing Kristoffer Ajer, with Jonny Hayes and Callum McGregor also starting at the expense of Olivier Ntcham and Tom Rogic.

    There was a full house in the Lerkendal Stadium and the home support created a good atmosphere as proceedings got underway. And it was Rosenborg who threatened first with an early corner but Sviatchenko dealt well with the danger, though.

    Despite returning to Hoops line-up, the Dane was forced to be substituted in the 25th minute following a knock in the centre circle, with Nir Bitton slotting in the centre-half position as a result.

    Rosenborg’s Serbian winger Milan Jevtovic, on loan from Turkish side Antalyaspor, tested Gordon in the 15th minute, though his long-range strike was held comfortably by the Hoops stopper.

    With the game being played at a quick pace, it was the visitors who had the next effort ten minutes later. Kieran Tierney’s cut-back to James Forrest, who was leading the line for Celtic, forced Andre Hansen into a tremendous finger-tipped save.

    The Bhoys began to step up their play, dictating possession and looking to carve out openings. They nearly did that in the 34th minute but Johan Bjordal came to Rosenborg’s rescue, blocking Hayes’ angled drive.

    Chances began to grow for the visitors and Tierney was next to have a pop at goal - following some good play with Forrest, the left-back’s effort sailed over the bar.

    As the half drew to a close both Scott Brown and Nicklas Bendtner tested the goalkeepers at either end but Hansen and Gordon saved with ease.

    Rosenborg started the second-half stronger and came close to the opener in the 47th minute. Good link-up play between Bendtner and Yann-Erik De Lanlay had Gordon at full stretch but De Lanlay’s effort fell just wide of the right-hand post.

    As the game opened up, Tierney was next to come close to the game’s first goal. However, his effort on the break curled wide.

    The 57th minute saw the return of Leigh Griffiths following a spell on the sidelines. And the Scotland striker was involved in the action minutes later sending in a dangerous cross to Scott Sinclair but the winger couldn't profit.  

    At the other end, Celtic had a lucky escape after captain Mike Jensen’s low and powerful shot brushed the side-netting in the 61st minute.

    The Hoops' patience paid off eight minutes later, though, as Rosenborg fell behind. The Scottish treble-winners strung together a series of passes before Forrest rattled a shot off the underside of crossbar and past Hansen to gift his side that vital away goal.

    That scoreline could have been doubled by Forrest in the 82nd minute but with only Hansen to beat the goalkeeper remained strong and the Rosenborg defence cleared.

    The away side came forward again, and following some delightful footwork from Rogic, Griffiths had his shot parried away. As the game reached its conclusion Celtic showed maturity and experience in defence and attack to see out the tie and deservedly head into the play-offs.

    CELTIC (4-2-3-1): Gordon; Lustig, Simunovic, Sviatchenko (Bitton 25), Tierney; Brown, Armstrong (Rogic); Hayes (Griffiths 57), McGregor Sinclair; Forrest
    Not Used: de Vries, Gamboa, Kouassi, Ntcham

    ROSENBORG (4-3-3): Hansen; Hedenstad, Bjordal, Skjelvik, Meling; Jensen, Konradsen, Midtsjo; Jevtovic (Helland 73), De Lanlay (Vilhjalmsson 73), Bendtner
    Not Used: Ostbo, Rasmussen, Rashani, Gersbach, Lundemo

    Website Man of the Match: Jozo Simunovic 

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