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Jul 15, 2014

Celtic win first leg of UCL qualifier

Ronny Deila won his debut as Celtic manager on Tuesday.

Ronny Deila's tenure as Celtic boss began with a narrow but deserved 1-0 win in the first leg of their Champions League second round qualifier against KR Reykjavik, thanks to a late goal from debutant Callum McGregor.

The Norwegian's first competitive game since taking over from Neil Lennon last month took place in the somewhat surreal surroundings of the KR-vollur stadium in Iceland, which housed only around 1,500 fans in its one stand, approximately 200 of whom were away supporters.

Leigh Griffiths and substitute Teemu Pukki hit the woodwork in the second half before 21-year-old McGregor, making his first competitive start for the Hoops after impressing in pre-season, drilled a shot low past home goalkeeper Stefan Magnusson with seven minutes remaining.

Also on Tuesday, David Lafata scored five goals as Czech champions Sparta Prague cruised to a 7-0 home win over Estonia's Levadia Tallinn, who have already completed one successful qualifying round.

Rade Prica scored to give Israeli champs Maccabi Tel Aviv a slim 1-0 win over Santa Coloma in Armenia.

In Belarus, BATE Borisov, who reached the group stage in 2012 and 2013, were held to a goalless draw at home by Albanian champions Skenderbeu.

Croatian champions Dinamo Zagreb got goals from El Arbi Soudani and Domagoj Antolic in the second half to beat Lithuanian champs Zalgiris Vilnius 3-0.

Partizan Belgrade used a brace by Danko Lazovic to beat Faroe champions HB Torshavn 3-0.

Welsh Premier League outfit The New Saints suffered a 1-0 defeat in Slovakia to Slovan Bratislava. Saints goalkeeper Paul Harrison was beaten seven minutes after the break when defender Erik Cikos, who was on loan at Scottish side Ross County last season, rifled in.

Northern Ireland's Cliftonville were held to a 0-0 draw by Hungarian side Debrecen, Slovenian champs Maribor failed to break down Bosnia's Zrinjski Mostar in a goalless draw, and the same scoreline occurred in Macedonia as Rabotnicki hosted Finnish champs HJK.

Moldova's Sheriff Tiraspol beat Montenegro's Sutjeska 2-0, and Azerbaijan champions Qarabag defeated Valletta 1-0 in Malta.

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