BRATISLAVA, Jul 27 (SW) - Celtic's hopes of advancing the 2005/06 UEFA Champions League took a huge hit on Wednesday when they were handed a 5-0 defeat at Slovakian champions Artmedia Bratislava in the first leg of their second qualifying round tie.
Artmedia Bratislava (SVK) 5-0 Celtic (SCO)
Gordon Strachan's debut as Celtic manager hardly went as planned in the Slovakian capital, Artmedia striking first blood with just a couple of minutes to play in the first half as Juraj Halenar tapped in after Branislav Obzera drew out goalkeeper David Marshall.
Blazej Vascak then began the second-half rout with a 57th-minute goal after a perfect pass from Halenar, who himself added the third goal on a great volley off of a corner kick with a quarter-hour to play.
Martin Mikulic made it 4-0 just three minutes later, scoring from about 20 yards out before the man of the match Halenar completed his hat-trick in stoppage time, leaving the Hoops with a near-impossible challenge in just six days at Parkhead.
Of note in the match for Celtic, striker Chris Sutton left the game with what is feared to be a fractured cheekbone.
Malmö (SWE) 3-2 Maccabi Haifa (ISR)
Alon Harazi gave the Israeli side a quick lead just two minutes into the first-leg match in Sweden, but Yksel Osmanovski's equalizer on 34 minutes pulled the hosts level at 1-1.
Haifa would quickly restore their lead and go to the half-time break 2-1 in front when Roberto Damian Colautti scored in first-half stoppage time to take the lead.
Daniel Andersson converted a spot kick just four minutes into the second half before Hans Mattisson got the winner in the 68th minute, although Maccabi Haifa will be happy having just a one-goal deficit and two away goals for the second leg.
Shelbourne (IRL) 0-0 Steaua (ROM)
Shelbourne, who were the surprise of last season's qualifiers by making it into the third qualifying round, will find achieving that feat again to be tough after they were held at home to a 0-0 draw by former European champions Steaua.
Shelbourne had the better of the play in the first half while Steaua enjoyed much of the possession in the second half and could have had a goal, but Banel Nicolita's first-half volley was extremely well-saved by Shels goalkeeper Dean Delaney.
Partizan (SCG) 1-0 Sheriff (MOL)
Serbian champions Partizan needed only one goal to take a narrow advantage into next week's second leg, getting the strike from Nigerian international Obiora Odita.
The striker took the ball about 20 yards from goal and hit a superb volley that was out of the reach of Sheriff goalkeeper Sebastian Hutan in the 63rd minute
Rabotnicki (MKD) 1-1 Lokomotiv Moscow (RUS)
It appeared as if underdog Macedonian side Rabotnicki would get a shock win the first leg, but Dmitri Sychev's added time goal helped Lokomotiv Moscow escape Skopje with a draw.
Just shy of a quarter-hour into the match, Rabotnicki got the lead when Ardijan Nuhiji gave the home side a shock lead.
Trying to emulate Macedonian rivals Vardar's accomplishment of defeating Russian side CSKA Moscow in the second qualifying round two years ago, Sychev came therough and got a key away goal in second-half stoppage time, setting up an exciting return leg in Moscow next week.
F91 Dudelange (LUX) 1-6 Rapid Wien (AUT)
Rapid Wien played like their team name, scoring three times in the first six minutes en route to a huge five-goal win in Luxembourg.
Axel Lawaree needed just the first two minutes to put the Austrian side in front before Muhammet Akagündüz and Steffen Hoffmann added goals in the next four minutes to make it 3-0 to the visitors.
Stéphane Martine thwarted the hot start just a bit with a goal in the ninth minute to bring Dudelange back to life, but Akagündüz restored Rapid's three-goal edge just seven minutes later with his second goal of the match.
Lawaree got his second in the 64th minute making the score 5-1 before Roman Kienast added a sixth goal for Rapid just five minutes before the end, setting up an anti-climactic second leg in Austria next week.
Debrecen (HUN) 3-0 Hajduk Split (CRO)
The head was the preferred way of scoring for the Hungarian champions as they cruised to a comfortable first-leg win over Croat side Hajduk Split.
Debrecen went ahead on 26 minutes when Igor Bogdanovic headed home a cross from Peter Halmosi off the crossbar and into the net. Five minutes before the interval, Bogdanovic got his second goal, against scoring on a header, this time the cross coming from Csaba Szatmari.
The Hungarians got a big third goal just before the hour mark when Zsombor Kerekes scored, yes, with a header. Szatmari found open space and crossed for Tibor Diombi who headed the ball down for Kerekes to hit into the goal with a diving effort.
SK Tirana (ALB) 0-2 CSKA Sofia (BUL)
Bulgarian champions CSKA Sofia left it late to win the first leg at minnows SK Tirana in Albania scoring twice in the final minutes for the win.
Ibrahima Gueye in the 88th minute and Emil Gargorov at the death secured victory for CSKA ahead of next week's second leg.
|Allen thrilled with Welsh ´hunger´|
|Kovacic to miss Euro 2016 qualifier|
|Costa Rica 0 Paraguay 0: Dour draw marks Diaz debut|
|Reid ruled out of South Korea friendly|
|Deschamps talks up France despite defeat|
|Rooney chasing England goalscoring record|
|Brazil ´superior´ admit French veterans|
|Reeves sidelined for Finland clash|
|Confidence critical for rampaging Brazil - Dunga|
|France 1 Brazil 3: Dunga´s men maintain winning run|
|Chile 0 Iran 2: Nekounam and Amiri down Copa America hosts|
|Premier League to share over £1bn from record TV deal|
|Morocco v Uruguay: Last chance to impress Tabarez for Copa champions|
|Iran 2-0 Chile: Nekounam and Amiri down Copa America hosts|
|Ivanovic braced for Ronaldo test|
|Bahrain 0 Colombia 6: Falcao stars in comfortable victory|
|Jones to Bournemouth leads loan deadline day moves in Championship|
|Bahrain 0-6 Colombia: Falcao stars in resounding victory|
|Malmo fined for poor pitch by UEFA|
|League Two Preview: Hartlepool aim to continue great escape, leaders Burton host Stevenage|
|France 1-3 Brazil: Neymar on target as Selecao triumph in Paris|
|Bulgaria v Italy: Verratti vows to be Azzurri´s midfield general|
|Kane primed for full England debut|
|Kone receives positive news over knee injury|
|Terry pens new Chelsea deal|
|PSG tie down Marquinhos|
|De Gea stamp was accidental - Skrtel|
|Villa hopeful over Xavi reunion|
|El Salvador v Argentina: Messi set for Roca reunion|
|Ghana v Senegal: Grant´s side looking to rebuild after AFCON disappointment|
|Ferdinand to serve extended touchline ban|
|League One Preview: Duo aiming to inspire Notts County revival, Alexander back at Preston|
|Hodgson keeps an eye on Sterling and Milner|
|Filipe Luis cools talk of Atleti return|
|West Brom to wear retro kit for Leicester clash|
|Netherlands v Turkey: Sneijder unconcerned by key absentees|
|Del Bosque wary of Ukraine threat|
|Israel v Wales: Pivotal fixture for both sides in chase for Euro dream|
|Bosnich backs Villa to beat drop|
|Walcott denies Wenger ´bust-up´|
|Hart: Aguero more difficult to face than Messi|
|Williams: I can´t see myself playing for anyone else|
|Coutinho eager to add more goals to his game|
|Khedira confirms Real exit|
|Messi attends NBA match with Argentina squad|
|United will qualify for Champions League - Bosnich|
|Mexico v Ecuador: Hernandez desperate to play|
|Podolski plays down Germany cameo|
|Bendtner: I could have scored four|
|Leverock family adds to World Cup exploits for Bermuda|
|Pele: ´Impossible´ for Neymar to replace me|
|MLS Preview: New England hoping to end drought|
|A-League Preview: Phoenix without stars for Sydney showdown|
|Klinsmann laments late collapse|
|Premier League clubs post first pre-tax profit for 15 years|
|Vokes relishing chance to link up with Bale|
|Dunga encourages Brazil to entertain|
|Dyke: FA to discuss Hodgson extension|
|Janko eyes history with Austria|
|Wilson urges Begovic to stay put|
|Strachan: Scotland have work to do|
|Sky´s the limit for Australia - Postecoglou|
|Low unhappy with below-par Germany|
|Scotland 1 Northern Ireland 0: Berra´s header settles dour contest|
|Germany 2 Australia 2: Substitute Podolski salvages draw|
|Denmark 3 United States 2: Bendtner hat-trick rescues Danes|
|Scotland 1-0 Northern Ireland: Berra the unlikely hero for hosts|
|Gobbi: Players will ´pay the price´ to keep Parma afloat|
|Rose withdraws from England squad|
|Germany 2-2 Australia: Podolski rescues draw for World champions|
|Denmark 3-2 USA: Bendtner hat-trick wins it for the Danes|
|Nigeria 0 Uganda 1: Late winner sours Enyeama landmark|
|Swaziland 1 South Africa 3: Bafana Bafana back to winning ways|
|Camp Nou to host Copa del Rey final|
|Labadie charged with violent conduct after biting claims|
|Bender keen to rekindle Bayern rivalry|
|Swansea eager to tie down Taylor|
|Varane learning from Real troubles|
|Forster ruled out for rest of season|
|Inter full-back Dodo has successful surgery|
|Verratti focused on future at PSG|
|Minnesota awarded MLS expansion team|
|Ibrahimovic slams ´b******t´ PSG exit rumours|
|Gibson withdraws from Ireland squad|
|Ozil convinced he can win Ballon d’Or|
|Costa: I take a beating from Premier League defenders|
|Canada v Guatemala: Floro seeks to develop winning mentality|
|Vermaelen returns to Barcelona training|
|Euro 2016 Qualifying Preview: Spain face big Ukraine test, Germany visit Georgia|
|Spain v Ukraine: Morata set for first competitive start|
|England v Lithuania: Hart urges Kane not to leave U21s behind|
|Monchengladbach snap up Hannover skipper Stindl|
|Khedira gives strong hint of Real exit|
|Skrtel banned for three matches|
|Brisbane Roar 1 Western Sydney Wanderers 4: Champions´ title defence in tatters|
|Sampdoria swoop for Ajax captain Moisander|
|Barnes: Sterling not ready for big-money move|
|Ferdinand: Ramsey appointment a gamble|
|Ideye hopeful of facing QPR|
|Lampard eyes MLS showdown with Gerrard|
|Ronaldo could face suspension over Clasico celebration|
|Hodgson expects more withdrawals|
|Schalke fans overwhelm Farfan after injury lay-off|
|Swedish third-tier club Dalkurd avoid Germanwings flight|
|Japan v Tunisia: Halilhodzic takes charge of hosts for first time|
|Schweinsteiger brushes aside captaincy pressure|
|Barzagli supports Conte call-ups|
|South Korea v Uzbekistan: Stielike searching for improvement|
|France wary of more balanced Brazil|