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Celtic beat Sarajevo to progress in Champions League

A 2-1 win set up a second qualifying round meeting with Nomme Kalju.

Callum McGregor scored the winner against Sarajevo.
Callum McGregor scored the winner against Sarajevo. SNS Group

Celtic have progressed to the second round of Champions League qualifying after a 2-1 win at Celtic Park gave them a 5-2 aggregate victory over FK Sarajevo.

Ryan Christie and Callum McGregor both found the net to ensure Neil Lennon's side progressed through the tie.

A 3-1 win in Bosnia last week had given the Scottish champions a cushion for the home tie but Lennon made only one change to his side with Lewis Morgan replacing the injured Mikey Johnston.

There was little expectation that Sarajevo could overhaul the first leg deficit but doubts may have crept in when Mersudin Ahmetovic had the ball in the net in the opening moments, only to see the goal chalked off for offside.

Celtic had a claim for a penalty after just nine minutes when Morgan went down in the box but referee Alain Durieux was unmoved.

The hosts took the lead after 26 minutes. Odsonne Edouard made a surging run but lost control only for Ryan Christie to pounce on the loose ball and hit a shot high into the net.

With a comfortable lead, Celtic pushed to add more with Morgan and Christie giving Edouard opportunities in close succession. New signing Boli Bolingoli then tried his luck with a shot from outside the box just before half-time but there was to be no further scoring before the break.

Bolingoli had another chance not long after the restart but couldn't get his right-footed shot on target but Celtic were soon given a reminder that they couldn't pass up every chance if they were to win.

A slack pass from Bolingoli was pounced on by Sarajevo who quickly put the ball into the box and Ahmetovic headed it on for Benjamin Tatar to smack beyond Scott Bain.

Celtic pushed to get back in front and James Forrest forced a save with a powerful shot and moments later they were in front through Mcgregor.

The Scotland midfielder hit a low shot from the edge of the box that Vladan Kovacevic couldn't stop.

With Sarajevo's faint hopes of an upset gone, there little more to do than play out the time but there was one more big moment when Leigh Griffiths came on as a substitute to make his first competitive appearance since December, receiving a rousing welcome from the support.

Celtic now go on to face Nomme Kalju in the second qualifying round.

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