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Celtic ease past Cliftonville
Published : 23 Jul 2013 22:01:55Rss feed
Celtic eased through to their Champions League qualifying tie with an expectedly comfortable 2-0 victory over Northern Irish part-timers Cliftonville at Parkhead.
Goals from defender Efe Ambrose and forward Georgios Samaras made it 5-0 on aggregate and confirmed the Hoops will play Elfsborg in the next round after the Swedish side won 4-0 against Daugava in Latvia earlier in the day to progress 11-1 over the two legs.
Ambrose, who had cut short his delayed summer break for last week's first leg in Belfast when manager Neil Lennon found himself short of defenders, put Celtic ahead in the 16th minute when he headed in an Anthony Stokes cross after clever footwork from Mikael Lustig on the right.
As the procession towards the Reds goal continued in the first half James Forrest skimmed Conor Devlin's bar with a right-footed drive in the 38th minute.
However, there was no addition to the score until the 70th minute when Samaras, who had scored last week in Belfast, made it 2-0 when he headed in a Kris Commons cross from close range.
Gary Hooper - expected to move leave the Parkhead club, probably for QPR - replaced Beram Kayal and hit the outside of the post with an overhead kick but the visitors held out to leave Glasgow with a respectable scoreline.
Elfsborg, well into their league season, will provide a tougher for Celtic test than Cliftonville whether or not Mo Bangura, on loan from the Hoops, plays against his parent club and that is the issue which will surround the tie until kick-off time at Parkhead next week.
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