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Kovacevic: 'Celtic did not deserve to win'

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Celtic kicked off their Champions League qualifying campaign with a routine 3-1 victory over Bosnian minnows FK Sarajevo on Tuesday night, with goals from Michael Johnston, Odsonne Edouard and Scott Sinclair sparing the visitors blushes after the hosts initially took the lead just before the half-hour mark.

It looks all but certain that the Bhoys will have enough in the tank to finish the job in the return leg next Wednesday at Celtic Park, with manager Neil Lennon set to rest a few of his key players ahead of the club's opening SPL fixture against St. Johnstone on 3 August.

Despite a nervy start, Celtic looked in control for the majority of Tuesday night's clash and finished the match well with a strong second-half performance; all in all, it was a deserved victory.

Not everyone felt the same way, however, with Sarajevo's goalkeeper - Vladan Kovačević - claiming that the Scottish champions did not deserve their victory at the Koševo City Stadium.

"In my opinion, Celtic did not deserve to win because they didn't create that many chances," said the 21-year-old shot-stopper.

"I think we were shaken when they equalised so quickly after we had taken the lead. We were unlucky they scored a third goal. But in fairness to them, they kept the ball well in possession and I congratulate them on winning."

Kovačević's team-mate, defender Besim Šerbečić, insists that his side are still in the tie despite finding them two goals behind the Scot's.

"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," he said.

"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," he added.

Sarajevo captain Krste Velkoski said that Celtic "punished" them for their mistakes.

"Celtic are a big team who play in Europe a lot. They punished any mistakes we made," said the Macedonian front man.

"We started the game at a great pace, but we weren't able to sustain it. Now we have to try and gain revenge against them in Glasgow."