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Celtic, Legia and Salzburg ease through in Champions League

Soccer Football - Celtic vs Linfield - UEFA Champions League Second Qualifying Round Second Leg - Glasgow, Britain - July 19, 2017 Celtic
Soccer Football - Celtic vs Linfield - UEFA Champions League Second Qualifying Round Second Leg - Glasgow, Britain - July 19, 2017 Celtic's Scott Sinclair and Tom Rogic after the game REUTERS/Russell Cheyne
Modified 20 Jul 2017, 03:32 IST

ZURICH (Reuters) - Celtic, Legia Warsaw and Salzburg enjoyed comfortable home wins as they eased into the Champions League third qualifying round without conceding a goal between them on Wednesday.

Scott Sinclair scored twice to help Celtic, the only former European champions among the 34 teams in the second qualifying round, to a 4-0 win over Northern Irish champions Linfield as they completed a 6-0 aggregate win.

Tom Rogic, with a superb long-range effort, and substitute Stuart Armstrong completed the scoring for Celtic, who have won the Scottish title for the last six seasons.

There was a heavy police presence at Celtic Park after both teams were charged by UEFA after violent scenes in the first leg in Belfast.

The fixture was politically charged with Celtic being a predominantly Catholic side and Linfield a Protestant club with close ties to Celtic's Glasgow rivals Rangers.

Michal Kucharczyk scored twice to help Polish champions Legia Warsaw, aiming to reach the group stage for the second season in a row, to a 6-0 win over Finland's IFK Mariehamn as they completed a 9-0 aggregate win.

Austrian champions Salzburg, who have failed in their last nine attempts to get through the qualifiers despite sponsorship from energy drinks giant Red Bull, beat Malta's Hibernians 3-0, having won the first leg by the same score.

Dundalk's attempt to become the first Irish side to reach the group stage ended when they were beaten 2-1 by Rosenborg after extra-time and lost 3-2 on aggregate.

Brian Gartland headed Dundalk ahead after 12 minutes but Yann-Erik de Lanlay levelled five minutes before the break and Matthias Vilhjalmsson headed the decisive goal for Rosenborg eight minutes into extra-time.


The Norwegian champions will face Celtic in the next round.

FC Copenhagen progressed despite losing 2-1 at home to Slovakian champions Zilina, hanging on thanks to their 3-1 win last week, while Maribor's 1-1 draw at home to Zrinjski Mostar was enough to take the Slovenians through 3-2 on aggregate.

Ludogorets Razgrad, who have reached the group stage twice in the last three seasons, survived an early scare against Zalgiris before going through with a 4-1 win.

The Lithuanians, 2-1 ahead from the first leg, took a shock lead through Serge Nyuiadzi but the Bulgarian champions hit back through Brazilian pair Natanael and Wanderson and two goals from Romanian Claudiu Keseru.

(Writing by Brian Homewood; Editing by Toby Davis)

Published 20 Jul 2017, 03:32 IST
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