22 Aug 2012

Celtic start well in Champions League qualifying

10:02 am on 22 August 2012

The Scottish football club Celtic have taken a giant step towards reaching the Champions League group stages for the first time in four years with a 2-nil win over Swedish side Helsingborg.

The Glasgow giants took command of the first leg play-off in large thanks to Greek international Georgios Samaras, who played a pivotal part in both goals.

Neil Lennon's men will now be looking to wrap up the tie in the second leg at Celtic Park next week.

If everything goes according to plan they will go through to the lucrative group stages of Europe's premier club competition, where they will be joined by the nine other victors of the play-off ties.

That could well include Dynamo Kiev, 3-1 winners at Borussia Moenchengladbach, but French side Lille have plenty of work to do after a 1-nil defeat at FC Copenhagen.

In other ties, Spartak Moscow enjoyed a 2-1 home win over Turkish visitors Fenerbahce while Swiss outfit FC Basel suffered a 2-1 loss to CFR Cluj of Romania.