Celtic secure dominant 3-1 away win in Sarajevo
Celtic kicked off their Champions League qualification campaign with a dominant 3-1 win over FK Sarajevo in Bosnia.
Despite going a goal down, Celtic’s class shone through as they fought back to equalise and then dominated the remainder of the match to effectively put the tie to bed in the first leg.
Mirko Oremus gave Sarajevo the lead on the half hour mark, before a wonder goal from Mikey Johnston pulled Celtic level.
Into the second half, Odsonne Edouard gave Celtic the lead with a cool finish and substitute Scott Sinclair put the game to bed late on with a cheeky back heel.
Story of the game
The tie was a potential banana skin and manager Neil Lennon treated the Bosnians with the respect they deserve as champions of their league, by putting out a strong side.
The Bosnian side looked to sit back and soak up Celtic’s attacks before countering at pace and some of Celtic’s defensive lapses began to creep into the game with some misplaced passes and an error from Jozo Simunovic who conceded a cheap corner - which FK Sarajevo punished Celtic for.
Despite going a goal down, Celtic took the game to the hosts and dominated the remainder of the first half which led to a wonder strike from Mikey Johnston who pulled the Scottish champions level.
Gathering the ball in a central area, Johnston turned three Bosnian players before smashing a superb right footed strike past Vladan Kovacevic in the Sarajevo goal.
Celtic took the lead as Edouard coolly dinked the ball past Kovacevic in the goal and the visitors never looked back as they pushed forward looking to extend their lead.
And Scott Sinclair rounded off the scoring with a well taken and cheeky backheel to take three away goals back to Parkhead for the second leg.
Celtic could be set to face Macedonian champions Shkendija who beat Estonian side Nomme Kalju 1-0 in the away leg of their tie - with the winners set to travel to Glasgow on the 23rd/24th July.
SARAJEVO: Kovacevic; Hodzic (Dokanovic 87), Ahmetovic, Hebibovic, Sabanovic (Tatar 66), Oremus, Lazic, Velkoski, Rahmanovic (Sisic 78), Milanovic, Serbecic.
Subs not used: Mustafic, Guzina, Kurdic, Dizdarevic.
CELTIC: Bain; Ajer, Simunovic, Bitton, Bolingoli (Hayes 56); Brown, McGregor, Forrest (Sinclair 78), Christie, Johnston (Morgan 64); Edouard.
Subs not used: Gordon, Ralston, Julien, Hayes, Griffiths.