Celtic secure hard fought Champions League first leg win

Updated: August 1, 2012

UEFA Champions League third qualifying round: first leg: Glasgow Celtic 2-1 HJK Helsinki

The visitors went ahead in slightly fortunate circumstances very early in the second half  at Celtic Park with Schuller forcing a fantastic point blank save from Foster but the rebound fell to the marksman off an unlucky Celtic defender and the Finn made no mistake facing an empty net but from a tight angle.

Celtic’s performance had been somewhat tepid to that point, but when they went behind, the home side had to throw caution to the  wind – and they did just that – with wave after wave of hooped shirts pouring forward for the vast majority of that second half.

Celtic were level barely seven minutes after going behind when Commons played Samaras in on the left flank.  The Greek whipped a fantastic low ball across the visitors six yard box and Hooper had the simplest of tasks to tap the ball into an empty net from seven yards out.

Commons was unlucky to see a 25 yard thunderbolt come back into play from the inside of the visitors’ post and the unwitting visiting goalkeeper’s head guided the ball away from the danger zone.

Six minutes after equalizing though, the Scottish Premier League champions were ahead.  One of the oldest of football adage’s states that you should never make a substitution when defending a corner kick.  The three time defending Finnish league champions did just that just past the hour mark and when Commons whipped the setpiece into the dangerous zone Charlie Mulgrew was unmarked at the back post and he powered a firm header into the ground and up into the roof of the visitor’s net.

Celtic tried to press home their advantage from there and had a few further chances before the final whistle and the visitor’s goalkeeper Ville Wallén was certainly the busier on the night but this tie is still in the balance.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>