Published Wednesday, 28 August 2013
James Forrest of Celtic after scoring the winning goal. (© Getty)
Goals from Kris Commons and Georgios Samaras on either side of half time helped the Scottish side draw level after a two-nil defeat in the first leg.
James Forrest added a dramatic third in extra time to give Celtic a 3-2 aggregate win and secure their place in the group stages of the Champions League for a second consecutive year.
Lurgan-born manager Lennon, who joined his players in celebrating as Parkhead went wild, described the result as "the greatest night of football in my life."
He added: "What we have come through in the last six or seven weeks has been really difficult. I have a huge feeling of relief and a huge feeling of pride."
The home side faced a tough task going into their second-leg playoff as they trailed the Kazakhstan champions 2-0 from their trip to Astana.
Celtic piled on the pressure during the opening minutes of Wednesday night's game but Shakhter keeper Aleksandr Mokin made a series of good saves.
The breakthrough eventually came on 45 minutes when Kris Commons picked up the ball 30 yards from goal and hit a ferocious drive into the top corner.
Three minutes after the break Greece international Georgios Samaras added number two to shake Celtic Park to its foundations.
The Hoops went in search of the winner but had to survive a few scares as Viktor Kumykov's team tried to fight their way back into the tie.
With extra time looming, Forrest slammed the ball high into the net from a Stokes pass for the most dramatic - and lucrative - of winners.
Celtic will now go into Thursday's draw while Shakhter will compete in the Europa League.
© UTV News