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Rodgers' joy as Celtic step up Euro quest

By Graham Luney

Brendan Rodgers hailed his Celtic side after the Scottish champions saw off Rosenborg to secure a Champions League play-off spot.

James Forrest's stunning 69th-minute strike fired the Hoops into tomorrow's draw where they will be paired with Astana, Qarabag, Rijeka, Hapoel Beer Sheva or Slavia Prague.

Kazakh side Astana and Israel's Hapoel both lost to Celtic in last year's competition and Rodgers is confident his men can join the big guns in the group stages.

"It was an outstanding performance and the players deserve a huge amount of credit in how they managed the game," said the Carnlough man.

"The goal we scored was brilliant - the build-up, the patience and quality, and the goal itself.

"You can see the players are maturing, to play in a pressure game like that and pass like we did. They are always tough games but we're playing with good composure and quality. My only focus is Hearts, our next game on Saturday."

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