AC Milan enter Champions League group stage, Celtic grab last gasp winner

Modified 29 Aug 2013

Kevin-Prince Boateng scored a double as Milan ran out 3-0 winners over PSV (Getty Images)

AC Milan beat PSV Eindhoven 3-0 on the night to finish with a 4-1 aggregate win over the Dutch side which ensured them a place in the main group stage of the UEFA Champions League for the 2013-14 season.

Two goals from Kevin-Prince Boateng and one from Mario Balotelli meant the Italian side will make their fifth consecutive appearance in the group stages of the Champions League.

Both teams came into the match with an equal chance of qualifying, with the first game having ended 1-1 in Eindhoven. Boateng opened the scoring as early as the 9th minute to give the hosts an early boost with a hard shot from distance low to beat the keeper.

PSV showed some great enterprising play themselves, but could not find the cutting edge to actually go ahead. Christian Abbiati came up with a massive save from close range in the first minute of the second half in what was PSV’s best chance. After holding a slender lead, Balotelli doubled the advantage in the 55th minute when he connected with his left foot from a corner taken by Stephan El Shaarawy.

Boateng then finished off proceedings with a 77th minute goal to add an exclamation mark to the victory, though in reality the scoreline was not a true reflection of how close the game was.

In other major results, Celtic overcame a 2-0 deficit from the first leg to earn a 3-2 aggregate win over Kazakh outfit Shakhtar Karagandy, when they won their home leg 3-0. Kris Commons unleashed a stunning shot from 25 yards out to give Celtic a 1-0 lead in stoppage time of the first half.

And just 3 minutes into the second half, Giorgios Samaras levelled the tie on aggregate with a close range finish. As the game moved toward its final moments, the crowd at Celtic Park grew ever more pensive. But there was to be a dramatic finish, as Jamie Forrest popped up with a stoppage time goal to give Celtic a 3-0 win on the night and send them through to the group phase as Celtic Park went delirious with joy.

Published 29 Aug 2013, 02:32 IST
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