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£20m pot awaits as Celtic bag Euro spot

Brendan Rodgers (CFC web)Football – Champions League: Hapoel Beer Sheva 2 Celtic 0 (4-5 agg)

Celtic stumbled into the group stage for the first time in three years despite a disappointing display against the Israeli champions.

A missed penalty by the hosts cost them qualification on the away goals rule.

Poor defending by Celtic contributed to both goals, something that Brendan Rodgers will need to address if the club is to make an impression at the next stage.

At least he has the satisfaction of realising his “number one” target by taking the club through to the group stages of the European Champions League where the club expects to earn £20m.

Rodgers insists that access to such riches will not prompt a spending spree on signature players. Celtic have been linked to German international Bastian Schweinsteiger and the Spanish maestro Xavi, but he says he will look for whoever will fit in to the squad rather than seek big names.

Celtic are likely to be in the fourth pot of seeds for the group stage draw on Thursday evening.

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Football – English League Cup: You had to feel sorry for Carlisle United who scored 13 penalties in their second round match against Derby County, but still lost.

In an extraordinary shoot-out featuring 32 penalties, Joe McKee missed what would have been the Cumbrians’ 14th goal, and the game was finally won when Timi Max Elsnik converted for the Rams on his debut appearance for the club.

Two players had their penalties saved in the regulation best of five, so the tie went to sudden death. Elsnik also had the satisfaction of scoring two penalties in the shoot-out.

The match had finished 1-1 after extra time.

In other ties, League One Northampton beat Premier League West Brom on penalties, while Chelsea had to hold on to survive a second half battle against League One Bristol Rovers, edging the tie 3-2.

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Gordon StrachanFootball – Scotland: Darren Fletcher is expected to replace the now-retired Scott Brown as captain for the opening World Cup qualifier against Malta in Valletta on 4 September.

The 27-man squad is the first to be named since Brown announced his retirement from international football at the weekend.

Hull City forward Shaun Maloney is left out through lack of match fitness.

Fulham midfielder Kevin McDonald and Hearts goalkeeper Jack Hamilton are among the uncapped players as coach Gordon Strachan (pictured) freshens up the squad which narrowly missed out on Euro 2016 in France.

Full squad:

Goalkeepers: Craig Gordon, Jack Hamilton, David Marshall.

Defenders: Christophe Berra, Gordon Greer, Grant Hanley, Alan Hutton, Russell Martin, Callum Paterson, Andrew Robertson, Kieran Tierney.

Midfielders: Ikechi Anya, Barry Bannan, Oliver Burke, Darren Fletcher, James Forrest, James McArthur, Kevin McDonald, John McGinn, Barrie McKay, James Morrison, Matt Ritchie, Robert Snodgrass.

Strikers: Steven Fletcher, Leigh Griffiths, Chris Martin, Steven Naismith.

 

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