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Celtic march on as Cliftonville bow out

Celtic FC 2-0 Cliftonville FC (agg: 5-0 )
Neil Lennon's clinical side go forward to face IF Elfsborg after Efe Ambrose and Giorgos Samaras goals completed a professional job in Glasgow.

Efe Ambrose celebrates a goal against Cliftonville
Efe Ambrose celebrates a goal against Cliftonville ©Getty Images

Celtic FC completed the job in Glasgow as they snuffed out Cliftonville FC's hopes of an upset with a professional second-leg performance.

Any chance of a shock result was already slim following last Wednesday's 3-0 Bhoys win in Northern Ireland but goals from Efe Ambrose and Giorgos Samaras ensured there was no fairy tale for Tommy Breslin's men. Neil Lennon's side go forward to face Swedish champions IF Elfsborg in the third qualifying round as they bid to repeat last season’s run to the round of 16.

It was one-way traffic in the first period as the hosts looked to put the tie to bed once and for all, and 12 minutes in Samaras forced visiting keeper Conor Devlin into an expert stop with a close-range header. The Greece forward was lurking with intent minutes later as Mikael Lustig fired in a lethal cross which Devlin did superbly to turn behind.

The resistance was breached on 16 minutes as central defender Ambrose thumped an Anthony Stokes centre into the net before Kris Commons almost doubled the lead shortly after, sending a rising missile just over.

Mark Smyth had a rare sight of goal for the visitors as a corner fell invitingly for him, but Celtic bodies threw themselves in the shot's path. After the break Samaras blasted over when well placed before Stokes contrived to miss the target after Scott Brown had set him up perfectly.

The second goal eventually came on 70 minutes as Samaras turned in Emilio Izaguirre left-wing delivery with his head at the back post. There was still time for home substitute Gary Hooper to rattle the post with a spectacular overhead volley as Cliftonville bowed out of the competition after making it to the second qualifying round for the first time.

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