“In my opinion, Celtic did not deserve to win because they didn't create that many chances.”
"I feel sorry we could not do more for the fans because they provided a tremendous atmosphere.
"We have to acknowledge Celtic are a really good team. Their second goal stunned us. But we are proud of our efforts because we gave our all."
Those were the sentiments of FK Sarajevo goalkeeper Vladan Kovacevic (via the Glasgow Evening Times), rueing his side’s home defeat to Celtic. The Hoops won 3-1 at the Koševo City Stadium on July 9 in the first leg of the First Qualifying Round.
Sarajevo had taken the lead just before the half hour mark through Mirko Oremus, but the response of three goals from the visiting side presented the Bosnian and Herzegovinian with an almighty task on their hands in the return visit to Celtic Park.
The statistics certainly showed that Celtic outplayed and outclassed their opponents, recording 69% possession and converting each and every one of their shots on target.
Sarajevo defender Besim Serbecic has been buoyant ahead of Sarajevo’s Scottish Soirée: "Of course it will be very difficult for us at Celtic, but you never know what can happen in football. We will certainly not surrender.”
The losers of the tie will enter the Second Qualifying Round of the Europa League, the tournament Celtic had to compete in last year after stumbling in the Third Qualifying Round to AEK Athens.
The winners will proceed to the next qualifying round of the Champions League; Celtic have reached the Group Stage of the tournament just once in the past five years, despite their exceptional domestic success.
New manager Neil Lennon was handed the position on a permanent basis after guiding Celtic through the very final stretch of a Treble-Treble winning voyage; an unblemished past three seasons in Scotland for silverware.
Celtic v FK Sarajevo takes place at Celtic Park on Wednesday July 17. Kick-off time is at 19:45 (GMT).