Thursday, February 21, 2019

Delight as Celtic Make the Champions League Play Offs

by Shaun Gibson (writer), Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, August 07, 2013

Celtic's Honduran left back Emilio Izaguirre tried to win the ball back for Celtic, 1-0 on over 2 games

Neil Lennon said his Celtic side weren’t at their best in their draw with Elfsborg but said that they secured a “brilliant” result in Sweden.

Neil Lennon salutes the Celtic fans at the full-time whistle


Celtic endured a nervous 90 minutes in Boras to complete an aggregate 1-0 win against Elfsborg and progress to the Champions League play-off round.

Mohamed Bangura, who is on loan at Elfsborg from Celtic, threatened to draw the Swedes level in the tie before Joe Ledley had a shot well saved at the other end.

The hosts were lively going forward but lacked the necessary cutting edge.

Elfsborg drop into the Europa League play-off round, and the draw for that and the Champions League play-off stage will take place on Friday.

Georgios Samaras in action against Elfsborg


Celtic manager Neil Lennon could hardly hide his delight at the final whistle but a player he had signed just under two years ago looked more than capable of denting the manager's ambitions in the early stages at the Boras Arena.

Sierra Leone international Bangura, 24, controlled a cross with his back to goal and attempted an overhead kick that was not far wide of Fraser Forster's left-hand post.

The visitors went in search of a precious away goal but Mikael Lustig's endeavour to get to the byline was not rewarded with a header on target by Georgios Samaras.

James Keene and Kelvin Wilson


Wilson (right) was playing probably his last match for Celtic

Ledley had an even better chance to score after getting the break of the ball in a crowded penalty area, while Commons' low free-kick hit the base of the defensive wall and the Welshman retrieved only to see his shot superbly saved by former Manchester City goalkeeper Kevin Stuhr Ellegaard.

Though the hosts were seeing plenty of the ball, their final product was often poor while Celtic struggled to retain possession on the artificial pitch.

Anders Svensson and Charlie Mulgrew


Elfsborg were in the ascendancy throughout the second period and a long throw-in gave Forster and his defence cause for concern.

The visitors were also relieved to see an offside flag raised when Tom Soderberg's flicked header was scrambled clear of the dangerous Jon Jonsson and James Keene.

Elfsborg appealed for a penalty when Kelvin Wilson, who is expected to return to Nottingham Forest later this week, slid in to challenge Keene in the box on the hour but referee Vladislav Bezborodov allowed play to continue, despite Keene's claim of a foul.

There was still time for Keene to blaze an injury-time volley over the bar, but Celtic held on to book their place in the next stage of the Champions League where another £25 Million could be made.

Manager Neil Lennon had a few nervous moments at the Boras Arena

Celtic Manager Neil Lennon had a few nervous moments at the Boras Arena

Remarkable win for Celtic who were favourites for the home and away tie, first game here a 1-0 win at home with a goal by Chris Commons late in the game, all Celtic had to do tonight was not to lose a goal or score one. Great win and the draw for the play off is Friday 9th August

About the Writer

I was a Football manager then I had to stop because of the pain so took up writing. I am average, but the sentiment is there. I want to make this a better world I want to laugh. I have a partner and 4 kids, 2 sons who are older teenagers, and 2 daughters under 4. Share the care x
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