Champions League - Qualifying First Round - 1st Leg
FK SarajevoFK Sarajevo1CelticCeltic3

FK Sarajevo 1-3 Celtic: Neil Lennon's side pass first European test

By Martin DowdenBBC Scotland in Sarajevo
Sarajevo v Celtic
Mikey Johnston's stunning strike settled Celtic in Bosnia

Celtic took a significant step towards the second round of Champions League qualifying after an impressive 3-1 win over FK Sarajevo in Bosnia.

Despite conceding just before the half hour, Celtic wrestled control through a fine strike from Mikey Johnston and a composed finish from Odsonne Edouard.

Scott Sinclair backheeled in a third to give Neil Lennon's side a cushion before next Wednesday's second leg and, should they emerge from that, Celtic seem set to face Macedonian champions Shkendija.

They beat Estonian counterparts Nomme Kalju 1-0 in the away leg of their tie, with the winners of that contest now looking likely to travel to Glasgow on 23-24 July.

Reaction speaks volumes for Lennon's side

Navigating these Champions League qualifying fixtures is always a fraught journey and, given the potential first-round ties on offer, this was one Celtic might have wanted to avoid. That idea was firmly reinforced in the early stages in sodden Sarajevo in front of an intimidating, noisy, home crowd.

The Bosnian champions looked to counter at pace and, after one let off, memories of past away Champions League calamities began to resurface for Celtic.

An unforced error from Jozo Simunovic conceded a cheap corner. It came in from the left and fell just six yards out for Mirko Oremus to slam home to the delight of the raucous crowd. Concessions from set pieces of that kind tend not to result in wins in Europe.

All of a sudden Celtic had answers to find and a heap of Champions League pressure to contend with. The reaction they found speaks volumes given the circumstances. Lennon's men remained calm and firmly asserted their superiority to all but end the tie.

The diminutive figure of Johnston delivered the perfect, timely antidote in spectacular style. He gathered way out in a central area, turned and smashed a magnificent right-footed effort past Vladan Kovacevic. It was the away goal they needed, at a vital moment and it entirely changed this tie.

For all the talk of recruitment over the summer, it is Johnston who has surely done his cause the world of good heading into this new season. On this evidence he could prove a significant figure, assuming the knock that forced him off is not too serious. Similarly, Celtic will be hopeful that the injury that ended new signing Boli Bolingoli's game early will also be minor.

Another plus for Celtic was Odsonne Edouard getting the second goal. His finish was cultured as, rather than snatching at the chance, he waited for the goalkeeper to commit before drinking it past him. The young Frenchman's confidence will grow and, with confidence, he is the potent threat Celtic will rely on.

Three away goals leave Celtic in complete command after what might have been a painful evening. The reaction to adversity might stand them in good stead going forward.

Mikey Johnston graphic

'Celtic bossed the game' - analysis

Former Scotland assistant manager Peter Houston on Sportsound

This was supposed to be a really tough tie but, apart from the first 15 minutes, I thought Celtic bossed the game. They had players that were willing to take the ball and pass it.

Scott Brown was outstanding in the middle of the park, it was a fantastic strike from Mikey Johnston, and the second half was a composed, disciplined performance. To win 3-1 away from home will make Neil Lennon a happy man.


FK Sarajevo

  • 13Kovacevic
  • 2HodzicBooked at 59minsSubstituted forDokanovicat 87'minutes
  • 9AhmetovicBooked at 65mins
  • 7Hebibovic
  • 4SabanovicSubstituted forTatarat 66'minutes
  • 45Oremus
  • 6LazicBooked at 9mins
  • 11VelkoskiBooked at 32mins
  • 10RahmanovicSubstituted forSisicat 78'minutes
  • 21Milanovic
  • 25Serbecic


  • 17Sisic
  • 23Mustafic
  • 24Dokanovic
  • 26Guzina
  • 27Kurdic
  • 32Tatar
  • 35Dizdarevic


  • 29Bain
  • 6Bitton
  • 5Simunovic
  • 17Christie
  • 19JohnstonSubstituted forMorganat 65'minutes
  • 8Brown
  • 22Edouard
  • 49ForrestSubstituted forSinclairat 78'minutes
  • 23Bolingoli-MbomboSubstituted forHayesat 57'minutes
  • 35AjerBooked at 82mins
  • 42McGregor


  • 1Gordon
  • 2Jullien
  • 9Griffiths
  • 11Sinclair
  • 15Hayes
  • 16Morgan
  • 56Ralston
Glenn Nyberg

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, FK Sarajevo 1, Celtic 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, FK Sarajevo 1, Celtic 3.

  3. Substitution

    Substitution, FK Sarajevo. Andrej Dokanovic replaces Dusan Hodzic.

  4. Goal!

    Goal! FK Sarajevo 1, Celtic 3. Scott Sinclair (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the high centre of the goal.

  5. Booking

    Kristoffer Ajer (Celtic) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  6. Substitution

    Substitution, FK Sarajevo. Aladin Sisic replaces Amar Rahmanovic.

  7. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Scott Sinclair replaces James Forrest.

  8. Substitution

    Substitution, FK Sarajevo. Benjamin Tatar replaces Halid Sabanovic.

  9. Booking

    Mersudin Ahmetovic (FK Sarajevo) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  10. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Lewis Morgan replaces Michael Johnston.

  11. Booking

    Dusan Hodzic (FK Sarajevo) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Jonny Hayes replaces Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo.

  13. Goal!

    Goal! FK Sarajevo 1, Celtic 2. Odsonne Edouard (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal.

  14. Second Half

    Second Half begins FK Sarajevo 1, Celtic 1.

  15. Half Time

    First Half ends, FK Sarajevo 1, Celtic 1.

  16. Goal!

    Goal! FK Sarajevo 1, Celtic 1. Michael Johnston (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the high centre of the goal.

  17. Booking

    Krste Velkoski (FK Sarajevo) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  18. Goal!

    Goal! FK Sarajevo 1, Celtic 0. Mirko Oremus (FK Sarajevo) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the high centre of the goal.

  19. Booking

    Darko Lazic (FK Sarajevo) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  20. Kick Off

    First Half begins.

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Tuesday 9th July 2019

As It Stood


1B Dortmund6411102813
2Atl Madrid641196313
3Club Bruges61326516


3Inter Milan622267-18
4PSV Eindhoven6024613-72


4Red Star Belgrade6114517-124


1FC Porto6510156916
4Lokomotiv Moscow6105412-83


1Bayern Munich64201551014
4AEK Athens6006213-110


1Man City64111661013
3Shakhtar Donetsk6132816-86


1Real Madrid6402125712
3Viktoria Plzen6213716-97
4CSKA Moscow621389-17


2Man Utd631274310
4Young Boys6114412-84
View full Champions League tables

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