Porto, Monaco, Celtic qualify for Champions League

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Madrid, Aug 24 (IANS) Porto, Monaco, Glasgow Celtic, Legia Warszawa and Ludogorets Razgrad all qualified for the UEFA Champions League group stage football competition with the results of second-leg contests.

The Portuguese side on Tuesday thumped AS Roma 3-0 in the Italian capital to win 4-1 on aggregate, reports Xinhua.

Roma, who battled to a 1-1 draw in the first leg in Portugal, fell behind in the 8th minute on a goal by Porto’s Felipe, while visiting goalkeeper Iker Casillas made a pair of key stops.

The home team was reduced to nine men with the expulsions on either side of half-time of Daniele de Rossi and Emerson Palmieri and conceded two more goals in the final 20 minutes.

AS Monaco, who entered Tuesday’s battle with a 2-1 advantage after the first leg in Villarreal, kept the Spanish club bottled up for most of the match.

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The visitors’ first shot on goal came only in the 40th minute and Monaco made it 1-0 on the night and 3-1 on aggregate when Fabinho converted a penalty in the 91st minute.

Celtic, meanwhile, conceded two goals on the road against Hapoel Beer Sheva, but survived 5-4 overall on the strength of their 5-2 victory in the first leg in Glasgow.

In Warsaw, Irish first division champions Dundalk jumped ahead 1-0 in the 19th minute on Robbie Benson’s goal to move within striking distance after losing 2-0 at home in the first leg.

But the side hoping to become Ireland’s first-ever Champions League qualifier was unable to press their advantage and Michal Kucharczyk scored for Ligia in the final minute to bring the aggregate score to 3-1 for the Polish club.

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Bulgaria’s Ludogorets are headed to the Champions group stage for the second time after a 2-2 draw at home against Viktoria Plzen, who lost the first leg 2-0 in the Czech Republic.

–IANS

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