Thursday, 29th August, 2013
Celtic manager Neil Lennon has lavished praise on his side after the Bhoys booked their place in the group stage of the Champions League through defeating Shakhter Karagandy 3-0 at Celtic Park last night in the second leg of the final qualifying round of the coveted tournament.
The Scottish club trailed 2-0 on aggregate to the Kazakh outfit after the first leg, but Lennon’s side brought things level by the 48th minute through goals from Kris Commons and Georgios Samaras.
However, just as the match was destined to go into extra-time, James Forrest scored to win the tie.
And the manager was delighted with the result and claimed that overturning the 2-0 deficit and guiding his team to the group stages of the Champions League was the greatest thing he has done in football.
"It´s the greatest thing I have ever done in football", he explained to his club’s official site. "The last three months have been in preparation for this.
"And coming from two goals down tonight makes the players´ performance and efforts more remarkable. I cannot speak highly enough of those players in that dressing room tonight – they were wonderful, absolutely wonderful.
"It was a great feeling. The timing of the goal was perfect for my liking – a wonderful piece of skill from [Anthony] Stokes who did really well to last the course of the game considering he hadn´t played for a little while.
"James Forrest is one the best players to have played for this club for a long time. I thought he was brilliant tonight and came up with a goal which was worth its weight in gold for us.
"The night required patience but there was a real willingness about the players to do it.”
Celtic will be eagerly waiting to know who their opponents will be in the group stage of the tournament. And the draw to determine that will be held today in Monaco.
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