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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Lokomotiv, Celtic Secure League Berths

INNSBRUCK, Austria Lokomotiv Moscows Vladimir Maminov, sent on at half time to reinforce the midfield, struck within minutes Wednesday to land his teams first goal, proving enough to defeat Tirol and seal Lokos place in this seasons main draw for the Champions League competition on a 4-1 aggregate.

Maminovs shot came from a free kick and was a delicately placed right-footer that sailed over the heads of the Austrian wall and straight into the net in the 47th minute.

Facing a seemingly impossible task after the first leg match, FC Tirol attacked in the first 45 minutes with enough courage to see the Russian side unsettled. But despite the lions share of ball possession and more shots on goal, Tirol repeatedly flopped some 20 meters in front of the net and failed to convert real chances.

Two first-half chances for Tirol came off the boot of midfielder Patrik Jezek, both neatly deflected by Lokomotivs goalkeeper Ruslan Nigmatullin.

One of Tirols best scoring chances in the second half came in the 69th minute when Walter K?glers header from 5 meters was again neatly snatched by Nigmatullin.

K?gler and Walter Bauer also failed to combine to score from a free kick in the 82nd minute when the outstretched hands of the Lokomotiv goalkeeper again neutralized their efforts.

In another top Champions League game Wednesday, Celtic manager Martin ONeill praised his clubs supporters for helping it reach the group stage of the Champions League, despite going down 1-0 to Ajax in Glasgow, Scotland.

ONeills side had to withstand a fierce fightback from the Dutch side in the second leg at Parkhead after Wambertos 30th-minute goal.

But it clung on to go through 3-2 on aggregate after an impressive 3-1 win in Amsterdam two weeks ago, and ONeill believes it was the passionate 58,500 crowd that came to his players aid.

We were nervous, but the crowd realized the danger we were in and that pulled the players through, he said.

It is the first time that Celtic which won the European Cup in 1967 has reached the group stage of the Champions League since the competition was reformed in 1992.

Ajax, which was outplayed and outfought in the first leg, restored some of its reputation with an impressive display of pace and power.

Elsewhere, German league leader Borussia Dortmund also qualified Wednesday for the Champions League with a 3-1 third qualifying round, second leg victory over Ukraines Shakhtar Donetsk, to win 5-1 on aggregate.

Nigerian Julius Agochowa shocked the home side with an early goal after seven minutes, but Czech Republic striker Jan Koller headed home a 50th-minute equalizer from Tomas Rosickys corner.

The Bundesligas joint top scorer, Marcio Amoroso, put Dortmund ahead 14 minutes later with a curling shot into the top right-hand corner. Koller secured victory four minutes later for the side that has yet to concede a goal in the Bundesliga this season with another header.

Dortmund join German sides Bayern Munich, Schalke 04 and Bayer Leverkusen, which have already qualified for the Champions League.

(AP, Reuters)