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Celtic close in on Champions League

Football
Thu, 17 Aug 2017


GLASGOW: Celtic have one foot in the Champions League group stages after a Scott Sinclair double helped his side to a 5-0 thrashing of Astana in their play-off round first leg in Glasgow last night.

An own-goal from Evgeni Postnikov opened the scoring in the 32nd minute before Sinclair doubled Celtic’s advantage 10 minutes later.

The English winger then grabbed his sixth goal of the season on the hour before James Forrest added another in the 79th minute.

Leigh Griffiths rounded off the rout in the 79th minute with a deflection off Igor Shitov to help the Scottish champions secure a commanding advantage to take to Kazakhstan for the return leg next Tuesday.

Penalty

Meanwhile, Napoli scored from a disputed penalty to beat Nice 2-0 as the French side had two players sent off in quick succession late on.

Dries Mertens put Napoli ahead in the 13th minute and Jorginho converted a penalty in the 70th after Christophe Jallet tripped Dries Mertens, although replays suggested it happened just outside the penalty area.

Nice were reduced to nine men in the 79th minute when Vincent Koziello was given a straight red card for a studs-up challenge on Piotr Zielinski and Alassane Plea was given a yellow card for protesting – his second of the game.

A late goal from Wissam Ben Yedder gave Sevilla a 2-1 win at Istanbul Basaksehir while Olympiakos came from behind to beat Rijeka 2-1 at home with a last-minute goal from Jacques Alaixys Romao.

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