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Celtic hold off dogged Astra

Celtic FC 2-1 FC Astra Giurgiu
The hosts had Craig Gordon to thank as they strengthened their position at the top of Group D and all but ended Astra's hopes.

Celtic goalscorers Stefan Johansen and Stefan Šćepović celebrate
Celtic goalscorers Stefan Johansen and Stefan Šćepović celebrate ©AFP/Getty Images

Celtic join FC Salzburg on seven points at the top of the section
Stefan Šćepović breaks deadlock with his first goal for Celtic 
Gabriel Enache gives Astra hope with nine minutes remaining
Craig Gordon the busier goalkeeper but Astra still point-less in Group D
Next games: Astra v Celtic (6 November)

Second-half goals from Stefan Šćepović and Stefan Johansen earned Celtic FC a 2-1 victory that all but ends FC Astra Giurgiu's UEFA Europa League ambitions.

Šćepović had gone close several times before finally breaking through with 17 minutes to go, heading in Anthony Stokes's free-kick. It was soon 2-0 as Johansen converted from close range but Gabriel Enache ensured a tense finale as he quickly halved the deficit. Celtic held on, and remain level with FC Salzburg on seven points; Astra are still awaiting their first.

Ronny Deila's hosts enjoyed most of the possession in the opening stages without creating real openings against an Astra side content to put ten men behind the ball. Buoyed, the visitors gradually committed numbers forward and Seidu Yahaya and Constantin Budescu produced good saves from Craig Gordon before Takayuki Seto curled a shot just wide.

At the other end, Mikael Lustig's deliveries from the right were causing problems with Vassilis Pliatsikas almost heading into his own net. Šćepović headed over another of the Swedish international's crosses, and passed up two more headed opportunities early in the second half. Gordon rescued the home side again, turning Enache's shot away, before Šćepović scored to set up an exciting finish.

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