By Izuchukwu Okosi:
Goals from Porto’s Yacine Brahimi and Jackson Martinez on Tuesday eliminated Ligue 1 side, Lille, from the UEFA Champions League group stage and consigned French side to the Europa League competition for 2014/15 season.
Super Eagles goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama was in good form but was unable to stop goals by Algerian midfielder Brahimi and Colombian striker Martinez in the 49th and 69th minutes respectively which won the two-legged fixtures 3-0 on aggregate for manager Julen Lopetegui’s team.
The two scorers for the Portuguese side particularly proved dangerous customers for Enyeama and his defenders who had lost the first leg 1-0 at home, last week.
Eagles right back Efe Ambrose was also on the losing side as Celtic was dumped out of Europe’s top club competition by Slovenian champions Maribor.
Celtic’s second attempt at qualifying for the group stages of the Champions League ended in failure as a Tavares goal handed unheralded Slovenian champions Maribor a 1-0 win to earn them a 2-1 aggregate win in their play-off match on Tuesday.
The players exited to boos from their fans and pressure will grow on manager Ronny Deila after a lacklustre start to his term in charge.
Celtic, who had been defeated 6-1 by Legia Warsaw in their third round match, had been handed a reprieve when the Polish champions were thrown out of the competition for fielding an ineligible player.
However, the Scottish giants, who earned a 1-1 draw in Slovenia in the first leg, failed to grasp their chance as they failed to score for a second consecutive match for the first time since August 2011.
Van Dijk blew a golden opportunity to level the tie in stoppage time as Celtic drop down to the group stages of the Europa League.
Ambrose played for 90 minutes in the game. The resourceful Nigerian almost missed the first leg game due to confusion over his eligibility for the game but came off from the bench in the 77th minute of that game at the Ljudski Stadium in Maribor.