Champions League - Qualifying First Round - 2nd Leg
CelticCeltic2FK SarajevoFK Sarajevo1

Celtic 2-1 Sarajevo (agg 5-2): Neil Lennon's side set up meeting with Nomme Kalju

By Martin DowdenBBC Scotland at Celtic Park
Celtic's Ryan Christie celebrates
Ryan Christie opened the scoring for Celtic

Celtic will face Estonian side Nomme Kalju in the Champions League second qualifying round after an ultimately straightforward win over FK Sarajevo.

Leading 3-1 from last week's first leg in Bosnia, the Scottish champions had an early scare when Mersudin Ahmetovic had an effort ruled out for offside.

However, Celtic went ahead through Ryan Christie's smart finish and, although Benjamin Tatar equalised, Callum McGregor's fine finish from distance restored the three-goal cushion and secured a 5-2 aggregate victory.

Celtic will host the first leg next Wednesday against Nomme Kalju, who surprised Macedonian champions Shkendija to progress on away goals.

Result never in doubt amid more lessons

Celtic's progression was never seriously in doubt, although that early offside effort initially gave home supporters something to ponder.

Sarajevo were always unlikely to overcome the 3-1 first-leg deficit and so it proved. This contest seemed a question of whether Celtic could find a route to break down a well organised side and, in the meantime, build more fitness and confidence.

Midway through the first half, though, manager Neil Lennon appeared to show a little frustration at what he was seeing. There was a lack of tempo and threat.

They suddenly clicked and, after a period of quality possession in which they stretched the visitors, the opener arrived. It was Odsonne Edouard's determination to surge into the box, followed by Christie's fine finish, that quashed any hope of a shock.

That appeared to settle Celtic and chances began to flow, with the visitors unable to break out.

However, as in the first leg, there are lessons to be learned at this early stage of the season. In Bosnia, Lennon's men cheaply conceded, then defended a set-piece poorly to allow Sarajevo the opener. This time, it was real sloppiness from recent recruit Boli Bolingoli that allowed Sarajevo to equalise.

It is something that Celtic can ill afford as they progress through this qualifying process. The opposition will get better and the consequences potentially harsher.

There was no need to panic in this circumstance and McGregor's fine finish ensured a positive home result for supporters to enjoy.

Another positive was the return of Leigh Griffiths as a late substitute. That reintroduction earned a wonderful reception. Once fully fit, the striker may have a significant contribution to make in the months ahead.

The focus now turns to what looks like a favourable tie against the Estonians.

Celtic stats

'Two good goals & job done' - analysis

Former Celtic defender John Hughes on Sportsound

It was a very good performance played at a really good tempo. Two good goals, and the job's done. Hopefully there aren't any injuries and now they're into the next round.

Former Celtic goalkeeper Pat Bonner on Sportsound

I had no doubt they'd get through. They might be disappointed that they gave away a silly goal, but Neil Lennon might use it as an opportunity to talk to Boli Bolingoli about the defensive side of the game. It was quite visible that he didn't get forward as much after the goal. You can't afford to give the ball away like that in Europe, but he's an exciting prospect.



  • 29Bain
  • 5Simunovic
  • 6Bitton
  • 16MorganSubstituted forSinclairat 87'minutes
  • 17ChristieSubstituted forHendersonat 90'minutes
  • 49Forrest
  • 22EdouardSubstituted forGriffithsat 78'minutes
  • 23Bolingoli-Mbombo
  • 8Brown
  • 42McGregor
  • 35Ajer


  • 1Gordon
  • 2Jullien
  • 9Griffiths
  • 11Sinclair
  • 15Hayes
  • 52Henderson
  • 56Ralston

FK Sarajevo

  • 13Kovacevic
  • 10RahmanovicSubstituted forGuzinaat 83'minutes
  • 9Ahmetovic
  • 6Lazic
  • 2Hodzic
  • 21MilanovicBooked at 57minsSubstituted forSisicat 60'minutes
  • 7Hebibovic
  • 11VelkoskiBooked at 71mins
  • 45OremusBooked at 39mins
  • 25SerbecicBooked at 73mins
  • 32TatarBooked at 42minsSubstituted forDokanovicat 72'minutes


  • 4Sabanovic
  • 17Sisic
  • 24Dokanovic
  • 26Guzina
  • 27Kurdic
  • 28Handzic
  • 35Dizdarevic
Alain Durieux

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Celtic 2, FK Sarajevo 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Celtic 2, FK Sarajevo 1.

  3. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Ewan Henderson replaces Ryan Christie.

  4. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Scott Sinclair replaces Lewis Morgan.

  5. Substitution

    Substitution, FK Sarajevo. Gedeon Guzina replaces Amar Rahmanovic.

  6. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Leigh Griffiths replaces Odsonne Edouard.

  7. Goal!

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

  8. Booking

    Besim Serbecic (FK Sarajevo) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, FK Sarajevo. Andrej Dokanovic replaces Benjamin Tatar.

  10. Booking

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

  11. Goal!

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

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, FK Sarajevo. Aladin Sisic replaces Slobodan Milanovic.

  13. Booking

    Slobodan Milanovic (FK Sarajevo) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  14. Second Half

    Second Half begins Celtic 1, FK Sarajevo 0.

  15. Half Time

    First Half ends, Celtic 1, FK Sarajevo 0.

  16. Booking

    Benjamin Tatar (FK Sarajevo) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  17. Booking

    Mirko Oremus (FK Sarajevo) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  18. Goal!

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

  19. Kick Off

    First Half begins.

  20. Post update

    Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Wednesday 17th July 2019

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  • CelticCeltic2FK SarajevoFK Sarajevo1
  • Riga FCRiga FC0DundalkDundalk0
    Dundalk win 5-4 on penalties
  • AIKAIK3Ararat-ArmeniaArarat-Armenia1
  • FK QarabagFK Qarabag2Partizani TiranaPartizani Tirana0
  • LudogoretsLudogorets Razgrad2Ferencvárosi TCFerencvárosi TC3
  • CFR ClujCFR Cluj3FC AstanaFC Astana1
  • Piast GliwicePiast Gliwice1BATE BorisovBATE Borisov2
  • NK MariborNK Maribor2Valur ReykjavíkValur Reykjavík0
  • Sutjeska NiksicSutjeska Niksic1Slovan BratislavaSlovan Bratislava1
    Sutjeska Niksic win 3-2 on penalties

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