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  • Resolute Celts hold firm to march on in Europe

    Resolute Celts hold firm to march on in Europe

    By: Laith Al Naeme in Trondheim on 01 Aug, 2018 22:00

  • UEFA Champions League, second qualifying round second-leg
    Lerkendal Stadion, Trondheim
    Wednesday, August 1, 2018


    (Celtic win 3-1 on aggregate)

    CELTIC secured their place in the UEFA Champions League Third Qualifying Round after a goal-less draw against Rosenborg in Norway this evening.

    Progression to the next stage means Brendan Rodgers' side will now face AEK Athens in the next round, with the Scottish champions hosting the Greek champions in the first-leg at Celtic Park on August 8.

    The manager named an unchanged side to the Celtic team that started in last week’s 3-1 victory over the Trondheim outfit.

    In front of a noisy crowd in the Lerkendal Stadion, the home side created the first chance of the game. Marius Lundemo’s effort from the set piece sailed over the bar, though.

    After a series of one-touch passes the hosts broke forward again, and Vegar Hedenstad’s dangerous cross from the right was eventually cleared away by Jack Hendry in the 16th minute.

    Five minutes later, the Norwegians carved out their third opportunity of the match. Another wicked delivery in from the right was met by Alexander Soderlund, but the attacker dragged his strike wide.

    But the Hoops survived this opening spell and gradually grew into the game as they started to stroke the ball around the park and probe for openings.

    The visitors threatened just beyond the midway point of the half as Olivier Ntcham clipped a ball in to the back post but the Celts were flagged for offside.

    Rini Coolen's side then grew in ascendency towards the end of the half and nearly opened the scoring through Lundemo, whose powerful header was tipped over the bar in terrific fashion by Craig Gordon, ensuring the sides would go in level at the break.

    Donning their striking new third kit, the Bhoys were first to attack in the second-half. Odsonne Edouard, who was too hot to handle in the first leg for the Rosenborg defence, linked up with Callum McGregor and danced his way into the box before rifling a shot inches off target.

    It was a statement of intent as, in the 54th minute, Ntcham, who was also on the scoresheet in last week’s win, had his low shot held by Andre Hansen in the opposition goal.

    At the other end, Jonathan Levi threatened, the Swede racing past Kieran Tierney before forcing Gordon into another strong stop.

    Tierney’s power and movement also caused problems for Levi, however, and the left-back's sharp run down the left resulted in a booking for the Rosenborg substitute after a late tackle in the 74th minute.

    As the game neared its conclusion, the Norwegian side threw more men forward in desperate search of goals, and Soderlund nearly profited after the ball fell to him in the box but the header was off target.

    The hosts thought they'd taken the lead in the 87th minute, but the referee blew for a foul on the Hoops keeper as the ball trickled its way into the back of the net.

    Rosenborg continued on the offensive as the clock ticked down but it was too little too late from the Norwegian champions as Celtic held onto their clean sheet and booked their spot in the third round of UEFA Champions League qualifiers.

    CELTIC (4-1-2-3) Gordon; Gamboa, Hendry, Ajer, Tierney (Lustig 85); Brown; McGregor, Ntcham; Forrest (Rogic 63), Edouard (Christie 72), Sinclair
    Not Used: Bain, Hayes, Johnston, Kouassi

    ROSENBORG (4-3-3) Hansen; Hedenstad, Reginiussen, Hovland, Meling; Jensen, Lundemo (Botheim 90),Trondsen (Vilhjalmsson 75); Helland (Levi 58), Søderlund, Bendtner
    Not Used: Ostbo, Gersbach, Reitan, Serbecic

    Website Man of the Match: Kristoffer Ajer




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