Wednesday 16 January 2019

Gordon holds firm as Bhoys earn draw

Craig Gordon pulled off a string of saves to earn Celtic a 2-2 draw away to Red Bull Salzburg in the opening match of Europa League Group D.

After a three-year lay-off, the former Sunderland keeper was back to his best as he held Salzburg at bay while Celtic took advantage of their chances with goals from Wakaso Mubarek and Scott Brown.

"We wanted to get the group off to a good start and we'll take a 2-2 draw," Gordon said. "We had a few half chances to go 3-1 up and that could have killed the game but when you are just one goal up you are always susceptible to losing one."

Praising the Celtic scorers Gordon added: "Waka (Mubarek) has been brilliant in training and that's what got him his start. He scored some great goals in training last night and came up with another today.

"I don't know where Scott gets his energy from. He has been out for quite a while, played 60 minutes at the weekend, but he always gives everything for the cause."

Brown and Kris Commons worked the home defence before the ball was slipped wide to Mubarek who fired a low shot across goalkeeper Peter Gulacsi into the net after just 13 minutes.

But it took a fantastic fingertip save from Gordon on the half hour to push a header from Andre Ramalho around the post from a corner.

Ten minutes from the break Salzburg scored when a strike from Brazilan Alan struck Efe Ambrose and spun over Gordon into the net.

Gordon pulled off another couple of inspiring saves in the early part of the second half before Brown put the Hoops ahead on the hour mark.

McGregor's cross was headed away by Ramalho but fell to Brown, whose volley from 25 yards deflected off Ramalho past Gulacsi into the net.

Anthony Stokes, a 67th minute substitute for Scepovic, and McGregor had half chances to extend Celtic's lead but Jonathan Soriano equalised for Salzburg with a brilliant free-kick 12 minutes from the final whistle.

Next up for Celtic in the Europa League is Dinamo Zagreb who hammered Astra of Romania 5-1.

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