Malmo FF managed to turn a 3-2 deficit against Celtic into a 4-3 win on aggregate in the Champions League playoff qualifiers on Tuesday.
The reigning Swedish champions have made it into the group stage of the Champions League for two straight seasons now, a feat that hasn’t been done since IFK Gothenburg were dominating Swedish soccer in the early 1990s.
Celtic won the first leg at home at Celtic Park 3-2 after a fantastic first 10 minutes of the game that saw them go up 2-0 after goals by Leigh Griffiths and Nir Biton. Malmo came back as the game progressed and former Celtic man Jo Inge Berget scored the all important second away goal in the dying seconds of the game.
That gave Malmo a real chance in the return leg as they would go through with a 1-0 win. In the return leg at the Swedbank Stadium in Malmo, they did one better and won 2-0 in front a fanatic home crowd.
Captain Markus Rosenberg was suspended in the first leg, but he was back in the lineup on Tuesday and scored the opening goal in the 23rd minute. After a corner by Yoshimar Yotun, Rosenberg headed/shouldered in the ball behind Craig Gordon in the Celtic goal. Felipe Carvalho made it 2-0 in the 54th minute, and that goal also came on a corner.
Rosenberg was clearly excited as he spoke to Aftonbladet after the game.
“We are at least as good as last year, especially at home,” Rosenberg said. “We’ve built up a belief in ourselves ever since the first qualification game last year. It’s something that the whole city believes in, and we really do this together.”
The drawing for the Champions League group stage takes place on Thursday.