By Ken Ferris
LONDON, July 23 (Reuters) – Celtic moved into the Champions League third qualifying round with a 2-0 victory in their second leg against Cliftonville at Parkhead on Tuesday and now face Swedish side Elfsborg.
The Scottish champions, who reached the last 16 earlier this year having enjoyed a famous group stage win over Barcelona, beat Irish League champions Cliftonville 5-0 on aggregate.
Former European champions Steaua Bucharest also booked a place in the third round with a 2-1 win at Vardar to secure a 5-1 aggregate victory over the Macedonian side in Skopje.
Romanian champions Steaua next play Georgians Dinamo Tbilisi, former winners of the European Cup Winners’ Cup, who beat Faroe Islanders Streymur 3-1 away for a 9-2 aggregate win.
Celtic’s Efe Ambrose scored after 16 minutes and Greece striker Giorgos Samaras added a second in the 70th to put the 1967 European Cup winners through against the part-timers.
Swedish champions Elfsborg won 4-0 at Latvia’s Daugava Daugavpils to wrap up an emphatic 11-1 aggregate victory in their second qualifying round match.
Maccabi Tel Aviv will face Swiss champions and last season’s Europa League semi-finalists Basel, who lost to eventual trophy winners Chelsea, by beating Gyor 2-1 for a 4-1 aggregate win.
FH of Iceland beat Ekranas 2-1 to wrap up a 3-1 aggregate success and set up a tie with Austrian champions Austria Vienna, who like Basel enter the qualifiers in the third round.
Bate Borisov, the Belarus club that finished third in a group that contained Bayern Munich last term, lost 1-0 at Kazakh side Shakhter Karangady to exit 2-0 on aggregate.
Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s Molde beat Sligo Rovers 2-0 after a 1-0 win in Ireland thanks to goals from Martin Linnes and Aliou Coly as they aim to reach the group stage after a 14-year gap.
Czech champions Viktoria Plzen earned a hard-fought 2-1 win at Zeljeznicar Sarajevo to go through 6-4 on aggregate and set up a tie with Estonian champions JK Nomme Kalju.
Kalju celebrated their first win in Europe with goals from Yankuba Ceesay and Damiano Quintieri giving them a 2-1 win over HJK Helsinki after the first leg was goalless.
Dinamo Zagreb also advanced with a 1-0 win over CS Fola Esch thanks to Andrej Kramaric’s late penalty for a comprehensive 6-0 aggregate win and the Croatians now play FC Sheriff of Moldova.
There are four more second qualifying round, second leg ties on Wednesday with 10 third qualifying round matches scheduled for July 30 and 31 with the return legs on Aug. 6 and 7.
The winners of those qualifiers will reach the playoff round which offers a route into the lucrative group stage. (Writing by Ken Ferris; Editing by Pritha Sarkar)