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Glasgow Celtic, who are only still in the Champions League because of some good fortune, got a crucial away goal in the first leg off their playoff against NK Maribor. Celtic struck first against the Slovenian champs in the sixth minute, but Maribor answered back to tie the game just eight minutes later, as the game would go on to end in a 1-1 draw.
As we previously reported, Celtic lost 6-1 on aggregate score to Legia Warsaw in the previous round of the Champions League, but Warsaw was disqualified for fielding an illegal player.
Celtic took full advantage of their second life, as they will be in the driver’s seat when they take on Maribor in the second leg of their playoff on Aug. 26 at Celtic Park in Glasgow. The winner gets a place in the group stage of the Champions League, which Maribor has not reached in 15 years, according to BBC.
Celtic will be satisfied with the result, but they could have done better, as FOXSports points out that they had three legitimate cases for being given a penalty, which were all ignored by the Czech referee.
In the other Champions League games played on Wednesday, Lille lost 1-0 at home to Porto, SK Slovan Bratislava drew 1-1 with BATE, Standard Liege suffered a 1-0 loss to Zenit at home and AaB Aalborg and Apoel Nicosia also played to a 1-1 draw.
This is the last round of playoffs before the group stage begins on Sep. 16, when all of Europe’s top teams will begin their quest to lift club football’s most coveted trophy.