Celtic grind out draw against Rosenborg to progress in Champions League
The Ladbrokes Premiership champions secured their spot in the third qualifying round.
Celtic negotiated their way into the third qualifying round of the Champions League with a 3-1 aggregate victory against Rosenborg following a gritty goalless draw at the Lerkendal Stadium.
The Scottish champions took a two-goal advantage to Norway from the first leg of their second qualifying round in Glasgow but were tentative in a first half which saw an added-time save from keeper Craig Gordon prevent Marius Lundemo from opening the scoring for the home side.
Brendan Rodgers’ side frustrated their hosts after the break without threatening too much themselves and the Norwegians ran out of imagination and inspiration and ultimately out of the competition.
Celtic, who have qualified for the lucrative group stages of the competition in the last two seasons under Rodgers, now take on AEK Athens in the next round with the first match at Parkhead next week and with a possible play-off to follow.
Rodgers kept faith with the same side which started in the first leg with regular right-back Mikael Lustig on the bench after returning late from World Cup duties with Sweden.
Celtic had started the game in Glasgow unsteadily and lost an early goal to Birger Meling before rallying in style and this time there were a few first-half scares.
Only a saving tackle by Cristian Gamboa in the seventh minute, with the Hoops defence stretched, prevented Pal Andre Helland going clear in on goal against Gordon.
The Parkhead defender was less concise when his attempted headed clearance landed at the feet of Meling but his wild drive cleared the bar by yards.
In the 16th minute Gordon caused some alarm among the 200 or so travelling Celtic fans when he fumbled a whipped-in cross from Helland with stopper Jack Hendry unconvincingly completing the clearance.
The home side grew in confidence but at times their passing lacked precision, although Lundemo’s close-range header from Helland’s cross inside two minutes of added-time was goalbound before Gordon stretched to tip the ball over the bar.
Within a minute of the restart a powerful run from Odsonne Edouard, aided by Callum McGregor, ended with his right-footed drive from 14 yards escaping the far post.
The swift move promised a more dynamic Celtic but Rosenborg quickly responded with efforts from Meling and skipper Mike Jensen, both going wide.
In the 65th minute, after Tom Rogic replaced James Forrest, Gordon made a fine save from an angled-drive by Rosenborg substitute Jonathan Levi, on earlier for Helland.
The home side, under the tutelage of interim boss Rini Coolen, the academy director who took over from the sacked Kare Ingebrigtsen before the game at Parkhead, saw the tie slowly drift away.
Rosenborg had the ball in the net in the 87th minute but Swiss referee Sandro Scharer ruled it out for a challenge by Nicklas Bendtner on Gordon and, with that, all Norwegian hope was gone.