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Hapoel Be'er Sheva 2-0 Celtic (4-5 agg.): Visitors survive Israeli scare

A first-half penalty save from Craig Gordon proved crucial as Celtic qualified for the group stage of the Champions League for the first time in three seasons despite losing 2-0 to Hapoel Be'er Sheva.

Brendan Rodgers' side edged the qualifying play-off 5-4 on aggregate having won last week's first leg 5-2.

But they made it hard for themselves with a dismal display at Turner Stadium and would have been eliminated had Craig Gordon not saved Mahadan Radi's first-half penalty.

Despite coming into the game having won their last five competitive matches, the Scottish champions never settled and found themselves trailing on 21 minutes when substitute Ben Sahar headed home.

Ovidiu Hoban then made it 2-0 to the Israeli side three minutes into the second-half, before Scott Sinclair and Moussa Dembele both missed great chances to pull one back.

Celtic were forced to hang on grimly for the aggregate win, Hapoel wasting a glut of chances as their group stage dream ended in disappointment.

A lively opening saw Hoban test Gordon inside two minutes, before Mikael Lustig hooked a shot over at the other end moments later.

And the drama continued in the 14th minute when Saidy Janko tripped Ofir Davidzada just inside the box to gift the hosts a penalty.

Radi, however, went for power rather than placement from the spot and Gordon was able to pull off a smart save.

Despite that setback, Hapoel continued to look the more likely and forced their way back into the tie seven minutes later.

After Brazilian import Lucio Maranhao had failed to recover from a head injury sustained in an accidental collision with Kolo Toure, Sahar was introduced from the bench and made an immediate impact.

With his first touch, the one-time Chelsea striker nodded home a Radi corner from the right despite the best efforts of Gordon and Kieran Tierney to keep the ball out.

That opener seemed to further rattle an already anxious Celtic side who struggled to impose themselves for the rest of the half and were restricted to just one long-range effort from Leigh Griffiths that failed to trouble Dudu Goresh in the home goal.

The Scottish side's lack of composure duly came back to haunt them once again just three minutes into the second half when Hapoel blew the tie wide open by doubling their lead on the night.

Janko compounded his earlier error by becoming involved in a comical mix-up with Gordon as the pair attempted to deal with an innocuous cross into the box.

As a result of their collision, the loose ball spilled into the path of Hoban and he had the simple task of tapping it into the net.

Dembele almost found the net for the visitors on the hour mark after a fine solo run and Sinclair was then foiled by Goresh.

However, it was Hapoel who finished on the front foot as they just failed to complete a stunning comeback.