Fulham lose to Dnipro but progress while Celtic and Rangers crash out

Fulham lose to Dnipro but progress while Celtic and Rangers crash outFulham secured a place in the Europa League group stage with a 3-1 aggregate win over Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk, despite a 1-0 reversal in Ukraine on Thursday.

Evgeniy Shakhov scored the only goal of the night from close range in the 22nd minute but despite giving the Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer a busy evening Dnipro were unable to force a way back into the tie.

Martin Jol's side did the hard work at Craven Cottage a week ago but despite their comfortable cushion the Dutchman warned his side not to take Dnipro lightly and they were made to work hard to ensure their place in the group stages.

A miserable night for Scotland's participants was completed when both Old Firm clubs were eliminated. Celtic, having been held to a goalless draw by Sion in their first leg in Glasgow, lost 3-1 in Switzerland after playing almost the entire game with 10 men.

The visitors' evening unravelled quickly as they found themselves a goal down and a man down within three minutes. Less than a minute had been played when Daniel Majstorovic was caught out of position from a long ball from Geoffrey Serey Die and brought down Guilherme Afonso inside the penalty area and, after the referee David Fernández Borbalán had dismissed the Celtic defender, Sion's Pascal Feindouno, who had previously been on trial at Parkhead, sent his penalty past Fraser Forster with confidence.

Sion always had the upper hand from then on but did not add a second until the 63rd minute when Celtic's ragged defence was punished for failing to properly clear after an effort from Feindouno. The Sion attacker followed up to send a low drive past Forster. Charlie Mulgrew gave Celtic some hope when he drilled in a free-kick in the 77th minute before Sion sealed victory when Giovanni Sio raced clear and chipped Forster to make it 3-1

Rangers followed their city rivals out of the competition, exiting at the hands of Maribor in a 1-1 draw that sent the Slovenian team through 3-2 on aggregate.

Carlos Bocanegra scored his first goal for his new club on 75 minutes, driving in from close range to cancel out Dalibor Volas's opener, but Rangers could not find a second goal to at least force the tie to extra time. Rangers applied plenty of pressure in the first half but were caught out on 55 minutes when Maribor's Dalibor Volas collected a long ball and calmly sent a right-foot shot past goalkeeper Allan McGregor from 18 yards.

Rangers' hopes were lifted on 75 minutes when Bocanegra met Goian's knockdown from a Wylde corner and rifled in from close range but Ally McCoist's team could not force a winner. Ally McCoist made his second change of the night after 67 minutes when Ortiz was replaced by David Healy as Rangers desperately tried to rescue the tie.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Tom Davies, for The Guardian on Thursday 25th August 2011 22.20 Europe/London

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