Sunday 25 September 2016

Dramatic Dembele winner sends Celtic into Champions League paradise

Celtic 2 FC Astana 1 (Celtic win 3-2 on agg.)

Ronnie Esplin

Published 03/08/2016 | 22:07

Celtic's Moussa Dembele celebrates scoring his side's second goal from a penalty during the UEFA Champions League, Third Qualifying Round. Jane Barlow/PA Wire
Celtic's Moussa Dembele celebrates scoring his side's second goal from a penalty during the UEFA Champions League, Third Qualifying Round. Jane Barlow/PA Wire

Moussa Dembele's first Celtic goal gave the Hoops a dramatic last-gasp 2-1 win over Astana and booked them a place in the Champions League play-off.

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The third qualifying tie had swung towards Brendan Rodgers' side after the 1-1 draw in Kazakhstan and striker Leigh Griffiths, who levelled in the Astana Arena, scored from the spot on the stroke of half-time before substitute Agim Ibraimi levelled with an opportunist long-range effort.

However, in stoppage time, French forward Dembele, on for James Forrest, slammed in a penalty after he had been tripped by Igor Shitov, who was sent packing by Romanian referee Istvan Kovacs for a second booking, with Dmitri Shomko following him amid the mayhem.

It was a crazy end to the match but the Scottish Champions go into Friday's play-off draw looking for a favourable tie which will see them into the competition proper for the first time in three seasons.

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