NYON: Porto will be missing from the Champions League group stages for the first time in nine years and Celtic will also be absent after both crashed out in the play-off round.
Celtic conceded what manager Neil Lessnon described as four “crazy” goals to lose 4-3 at home and 5-4 on aggregate to CFR Cluj while Porto llst 3-2 at home to FC Krasnodar of Russia and went out on the away goals rule (3-3 aggregate).
Celtic have now exited the competition at this stage in successive seasons, after losing to AEK Athens last term.
Lennon said: “We had the lead and we’ve let it slip through our own decision making. The goals we conceded are crazy. You’ve got to do the basics well – you’ve got to stop crosses, close people down, get your head on things – and it was almost as if we scored and wanted to switch off.
“We’ve only ourselves to blame. If you don’t do the basics defensively well enough then at this level you get punished. We’ve let it go.”
Celtic trailed 2-1 on aggregate at half-time after Cirpian Deac headed Cluj into the lead, but appeared to have turned the tie around with goals from James Forrest and Odsonne Edouard.
However, Billel Omrani converted a penalty after captain Scott Brown handled and, although Ryan Christie restored Celtic’s lead again, Omrani and George Tucudean struck to earn Cluj a shock win.
Celtic, had they held on then defeated Slavia Prague in the play-off round, would have been guaranteed 15.25m euros (£14.13m). Instead, should they progress past AIK of Sweden or Sherrif Tiraspol of Moldova in the Europa League play-offs, they will pick up ‘only’ 2.92m euros (£2.71m).