Lincoln Red Imps striker Lee Casciaro insists reckons Gibraltar clash will be uncomfortable for Celtic



Lincoln Red Imps striker Lee Casciaro insists the searing Gibraltan heat and a plastic pitch can make life uncomfortable for Celtic on Tuesday.

The part-timers overturned a first leg defeat to Flora in 25 degree sunshine at the 2,000 capacity Victoria stadium during the week to set up a glamour Champions League second qualifying round clash against Brendan Rodgers’ Hoops.

Experienced marksman Casciaro, who scored Gibraltar’s first ever competitive goal in a 6-1 Euro qualifying defeat to Scotland last March, hopes a combination of the hot weather and the artificial surface can aid the minnows in their quest to be in the tie for the second leg in Glasgow on July 20.

victoriastadiumCasciaro said: “I hope we can give a good account of ourselves, I think that’s the most important thing. Hopefully we can keep the tie open till we get to Glasgow.

“Playing here in Gibraltar, it’s going to be hot as always, they probably won’t like the heat or the artificial pitch. It’s an advantage for us because we are more used to the heat and the pitch.

“Our aim will to be in the match for the second leg, that will be an achievement for us.”

The Gibraltar Football Association were only accepted into UEFA as a full member three years ago and military defence policeman Casciaro admits playing at the 60,000-capacity Celtic Park will be a surreal experience.

He added: “We’ve been used to playing amateur football and now we’re going to some of the best stadiums in the world and playing against the best players in the world, it’s unreal. We want to cherish every moment.

“It’s a dream come true playing at Celtic Park, such a prestigious place against the Scottish champions. It’s going to be a dream for all our players.

“It’s surreal for Gibraltar on the whole with Celtic coming over, one of the most prestigious clubs in the world.”

Casciaro’s pace won Lincoln a penalty in Wednesday’s clash against Estonian outfit Flora, with accomplished left-back Joseph Chipolina converting from the spot.

The 34-year-old missed a gilt-edged chance to double their lead in the second half before Antonio Calderon sealed the win with a second.

Casciaro admits he was relieved his miss had no bearing on the final outcome.

He added: “I thought it would come back to haunt me. The last 30 minutes sitting on the bench, it was eating inside me.

“It was a very intense match against Flora and everything went to plan. We scored the goals we needed and now all focus is on the Celtic game.”