Hapoel Beer-Sheva 2 - 0 Celtic (4-5 agg): Hoops reach Champions League

Celtic have made it to the Champions League group stages by the skin of their teeth after a dismally poor second leg performance against Hapoel Beer-Sheva.

Celtic endured a tough night in Israel but made it to the Champions League group stages. Picture: SNS
Celtic endured a tough night in Israel but made it to the Champions League group stages. Picture: SNS

Brendan Rodgers side were well beaten on the night, losing 2-0 to goals from Ben Sahar and Ovidiu Hoban, but made it through 5-4 on aggregate thanks to a terrific first leg showing that had very little in common with what was offered up in Israel.

The visitors thought they’d survived their early scare when Maharan Radi had his 15th minute penalty saved by Craig Gordon. However, it would take the home side only six extra minutes in which to open the scoring.

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Radi swung in the corner from which Sahar powered towards goal. Kieran Tierney retreated to the line in an attempt to block, only to redirect the ball off the back of Gordon and into the net.

Ben Sahar celebrates after opening the scoring. Picture: SNS

Celtic survived a spell of pressure from the hosts and seemed to be better equipped to deal with their threat as the sides went in at the half.

Such a feeling of security lasted only three minutes into the second period. Ben Bitton’s cross was initially claimed by Gordon, but when the keeper collided with defender Saidy Janko the ball popped loose, allowing Hoban to tap home.

Beer-Sheva continued to press Celtic for the remainder of the half, desperate for a third goal that would see them through to the Champions League for the first time in their history. But Celtic, despite facing wave after wave of attack, bravely held on.

A mix up between Celtic's Saidy Janko (right) and Craig Gordon leads to Hapoel's second goal. Picture: SNS

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Hapoel fans were hoping to welcome Lionel Messi and Cristinao Ronaldo to the Turner Stadium. Picture: SNS
Ben Sahar celebrates after opening the scoring. Picture: SNS
A mix up between Celtic's Saidy Janko (right) and Craig Gordon leads to Hapoel's second goal. Picture: SNS
Hapoel fans were hoping to welcome Lionel Messi and Cristinao Ronaldo to the Turner Stadium. Picture: SNS