| -1.4°C Dublin

Deila disappointed as Celtic miss chance to qualify

Celtic came within 12 minutes of qualifying for the knock-out phase of the Europa League but had to settle for a 1-1 draw away to Astra last night.

Leading by a stunning first half strike from Stefan Johansen the hoops looked on course for a third consecutive Europa League victory but William Amorim equalised for the home side to leave Ronny Deila's side still needing a win from their two remaining group matches to secure European football into the new year.

With Salzburg hammering Dinamo Zagreb 5-1 in Croatia the Austrians will travel to Glasgow in a fortnight with their place in the last 32 secure while Celtic go into that match five points clear of Dinamo before completing their campaign in Zagreb.

"We had enough chances to kill the game but in the end it was one point and I'm not happy with that," Deila said afterwards.

"In the second half we controlled it quite well but they scored a fantastic goal. We had chances to win after that but couldn't get a second goal."

Celtic had taken the lead away to Legia Warsaw, Maribor and Salzburg without winning any of those matches with that pattern continued against Astra. "There is something to work on when we go 1-0 up," Deila added. "We need to keep on playing, be offensive, maybe we try to win 1-0 but we should try for more. The performance was ok but the result should have been better."


It was impossible to see clearly from one goalmouth to the other with the 700 travelling supporters seated behind Craig Gordon's goal seeing little in the way of action as their favourites chased an early goal.

Johansen, a scorer against Astra in the home tie a fortnight ago, was prominent in the early action with home keeper Silviu Lung Jnr - a son of the former Romanian goalkeeper who David O'Leary beat to send Ireland into the World Cup quarter-finals in 1990 - forced into an instinctive save in the 15th minute pushing a shot from the Norwegian round the post for a corner.

Celtic took the lead on 32 minutes with a stunning shot from Johansen.

In the 77th minute a long range effort from Mulgrew was touched onto the post by Lung but two minutes later Astra levelled when Amorim curled a shot beyond Gordon from 15 yards out.