Miller helps Celtic progress

 

Celtic... 1 Kaunas... 0: Celtic booked their place in the final qualifying stages of the Champions League after they dumped Kaunas out of the competition last night.

The hard work for this tie had been taken care of last week when Celtic returned from Lithuania with a comfortable 4-0 win under their belts and their place in next week's third qualifying round against MTK Hungaria all but secure.

Such was Celtic's confidence they would progress, that boss Martin O'Neill was missing from the dug-out, believed to have flown to Finland to watch next week's opponents send HJK Helsinki out of the competition.

Celtic's up-and-coming young players have been much lauded over recent weeks and flavour of the month, 22-year-old Irish midfielder Liam Miller, was handed a starting role.

With John Hartson and Henrik Larsson injured, striking duty went to Chris Sutton, who was partnered by Shaun Maloney.

But it was the unlikely source of Darius Gvildys who gave Celtic the lead when he netted the only goal.

Miller started the move when he played the ball out to Jamie Smith, who curled a shot into the box to meet the onrushing Chris Sutton, but, instead, the cross was met by Gvildys who nodded into his own net.

CELTIC: Douglas, Balde, Mjallby, Valgaeren, Sylla (Lennon 57), Lambert, Miller, Thompson (Wallace 80), Smith, Maloney (Beattie 57), Sutton. Subs Not Used: Hedman, McNamara, Crainey, Kennedy. Goals: Gvildys 21 og.

FBK Kaunas: Padimanskas, Gvildys, Kancelskis, Petrenka, Beniusis (Karalius 34), Opic (Sanajevas 86), Regelskis, Papeckys (Puotkalis 77), Gedgaudas, Barevicius, Miklinevicius. Att: 40,284.

Referee: J Granat (Poland).