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Celtic can make real Euro impact, insists goalie Gordon


By Ronnie Esplin

Celtic demolished Astana 5-0 in the first leg of their Champions League play-off tie on Wednesday night but goalkeeper Craig Gordon knows a water-tight defence remains key to European progression.

The Hoops all but guaranteed a place in the group stage on a dramatic night at Parkhead where Scott Sinclair grabbed a double and James Forrest notched, with two own goals to boot.

Ulsterman Brendan Rodgers' side - who go to Kilmarnock in the league tomorrow - have yet to concede in five qualifying ties and the Scotland netminder wants to keep that record intact in the return game in Kazakhstan next Tuesday.

Gordon said: "We have done well, especially defensively, we have looked really solid. If we can go and do that away from home I will be very happy because I am sure we can nick something on the break."

Gordon pointed to last season's play-off tie against Israeli side Hapoel Beer Sheva as a warning. Celtic won 5-2 at home in the first leg and were left hanging on in a 2-0 defeat in the return game.

The 34-year-old said: "We scored five the last time in the play-off but obviously the two away goals were difficult and nearly proved costly but we managed to scrape through."

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