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CL Qualifiers: Celtic embarrassed in Slovakia on Strachan debut

27 July 2005 23:21

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.

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