MX23RW : Wednesday, November 21 08:41:24
Aug 30, 2018 at 8pm UK at ​Celtic Park (Glasgow)
Celtic
3-0
FK SuduvaFK Suduva
Griffiths (27'), McGregor (53'), Ajer (61')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Result: Celtic thrash FK Suduva to reach Europa League group stage

Result: Celtic thrash Suduva to progress in EL
© Reuters
Celtic comfortably make the Europa League group stage thanks to a dominant 3-0 win over FK Suduva on Thursday night for a 4-1 aggregate victory in their playoff tie.

Celtic have cruised into the group stage of the Europa League thanks to a dominant 3-0 win over FK Suduva on Thursday night for a 4-1 aggregate victory in their playoff tie.

The Hoops began the second-leg encounter eager to go for the jugular early on, having scraped a 1-1 draw in the opening encounter at Marijampole's ARVI Football Arena.

Indeed, Celtic saw a lot of the ball in the early stages and weighed in with an early opportunity, Scott Sinclair blazing a rising shot over the crossbar after just three minutes.

Suduva, in contrast, set out to defend, with five across the back and a busy unit of three just ahead, in a bid to repel what was likely to be an offensive Bhoys display.

The Lithuanians' resistance did not hold out for long, however, Celtic drawing first blood on 27 minutes through Leigh Griffiths.

The 28-year-old marked his 100th Celtic goal in style, curling a sumptuous free kick around the opposition wall and into the back of the net from 25 yards out.

Despite their continued pressure, the Hoops could not add to their tally come the break but did not wait long after the restart to double their advantage.

In the 53rd minute, Griffiths held the ball up and set up Sinclair, who in turn found Callum McGregor inside the box, and the young midfielder calmly stroked the ball low into the corner of the net.

The tie was as good as settled just after the hour mark as Kristoffer Ajer claimed his first Celtic goal on 61 minutes, leaping in the air to bury Griffiths's deep cross into the far post.

The Norwegian defender was denied a second goal on 90 minutes thanks to Ivan Kardum's save, while Jonny Hayes slotted home on the rebound 10 minutes earlier but was thwarted by the offside flag.

In the end, it proved a comfortable win for Celtic, who join Old Firm rivals Rangers in Friday's group stage draw.

CELTIC (4-3-3): Gordon; Lustig, Boyata, Ajer, Tierney (Izaguirre 69'); McGregor, Brown, Ntcham; Johnston (Hayes 79'), Griffiths (Christie 65'), Sinclair

SUDUVA (5-3-2): Kardum; Svrljuga, Hayduchyk, Jankauskas, Zivanovic, Slavickas; Acevedo, Cadjenovic (Leimonas 56'), Offenbacher (Verbickas 80'); Cicilia, Gotal (Kasparavicius 73')

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Pablo Maffeo and Tomas Rogic in action during the Champions League game between Manchester City and Celtic on December 6, 2016
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1RangersRangers1273232112124
2Celtic127322341924
3Aberdeen12642158722
4Hearts136431511422
5St Johnstone136431416-222
6Kilmarnock135531410420
7Hibernian124531881017
8Livingston1245387117
9Motherwell123451118-713
10Hamilton AcademicalHamilton13328926-1711
11St Mirren13148523-187
12Dundee130310426-223

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