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Edouard scores to put Celtic in Europa League group stage

Celtic defeated FK Sarajevo 1-0 in the play-off match.

Edouard scores to put Celtic in Europa League group stage SNS

Celtic have reached the group stage of the Europa League after beating FK Sarajevo 1-0 in Bosnia.

Odsonne Edouard fired home after a Ryan Christie shot wasn’t cleared, ensuring Neil Lennon’s side passage into the competition proper.

The Scottish champions took charge of possession early on with the hosts happy to sit in and look to hit on the counter. But Celtic were dealt a blow after just ten minutes when Nir Bitton was forced off through injury.

His fellow Israel international Hatem El Hamed took his place in the three-man back line and Celtic tried to impose themselves on the tie, with only some success.

Despite seeing little of the ball, Sarajevo showed their danger with Benjamin Tatar forcing Vasilis Barkas into making a save.

Celtic were struggling to create clear chances with Odsonne Edouard denied and then Mohamed Elyounoussi failing to trouble the home goalkeeper with a shot from 12 yards that lacked power.

Half time brought no change in personnel from Lennon and Celtic continued to push without finding the cutting edge they needed. Kristoffer Ajer stabbed wide after a corner before Elyounoussi tested Vladan Kovacevic in Sarajevo’s goal.

Hrvoje Milicevic headed wide to remind Celtic that they couldn’t be complacent but Ryan Christie and then Elhamed had chances before Celtic took the lead.

Christie’s shot from the edge of the box wasn’t dealt with and Edouard snapped up the rebound.

The score was replaced by Patryk Klimala with 12 minutes to go and shortly after he passed up a chance to put the result beyond doubt.

The visitors kept control and protected their lead through the final moments and take their place in Friday’s group stage draw.