Aug 26 (Reuters) - Former European champions Celtic will miss out on the Champions League group stage for the third successive season after a dispiriting 2-1 home defeat by Hungary’s Ferencvaros in the second qualifying round on Wednesday.
Neil Lennon’s Scottish champions made a dreadful start at an empty Celtic Park as David Siger’s dipping long-range shot gave the visitors a seventh-minute lead.
Celtic carved out a host of chances without any joy but appeared to have turned the tie in their favour in the 53rd minute when Ryan Christie’s deflected drive looped in.
On a wet Glasgow night the stage seemed set for Celtic to go on and book their place in the final qualifying round but they were stunned when a long ball took out their entire defence and Tokmac Nguen ran through to shoot home from a tight angle.
Ferencvaros go forward to a two-legged third qualifying- round tie to try to book a place in the lucrative group stage for the first time since 1995-96.
Celtic drop into the Europa League qualifiers having fallen in the second qualifying round for the first time since losing to Artmedia Bratislava in 2005. (Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Ed Osmond)
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