Wanyama makes history by becoming first Kenyan player to score in Champions League football as Celtic reach tournament's Group stage
Kenya midfielder Victor Wanyama scored his debut Champions League goal as Scottish giants Celtics booked their place in the UEFA Champions League group stages with a comfortable 2-0 victory against Helsingborgs inside a packed Paradise on Wednesday.
Gary Hooper´s 30th-minute strike extended their aggregate lead from the first leg in Sweden to 3-0, and Wanyama then made history becoming the first Kenyan to score in Champions League competition, after he headed home in the final stages of the match to round off an excellent performance.
Only two other Kenyans, Wanyama’s brother Macdonald Mariga and Dennis Oliech have featured in the European competition for Inter Milan and Auxerre of France respectively.
Wanyama was making a comeback to the starting eleven having missed the first leg played in Sweden through suspension.
Scott Brown, returned to the starting XI alongside James Forrest and the two first-leg scorers Kris Commons and Georgios Samaras.
Helsingborgs, meanwhile, made just one change from the side they fielded in Sweden, bringing Joseph Baffo in before kick-off.
Forrest´s drive into the box was only cleared as far as Brown, and the captain fired the ball goalwards. Samaras touched the ball on and it was finished by Hooper, who stuck it into the net from close-range, sparking celebrations around the stadium.
But the Hoops didn’t need to wait much longer for another goal, because from a short corner a minute later, Wanyama rose above everyone to head home Kris Commons' cross and confirm Celtic's place in the group stages of the UEFA Champions League.
Celtic will be among the four seeds for the draw set for Thursday and coach Neill Lennon would not mind being put in the same group as either Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea or Arsenal.
"That would be great," he said. "That gets the juices flowing, you know, the Battle of Britain.
"I have some great recollections of Liverpool and Manchester United over the time and it always creates an extra bit of excitement.
"If we can avoid Barcelona and Real Madrid, we might have half a chance. But it doesn't matter," he told the club's official website.