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Stokes opens his account in Germany

ANTHONY STOKES opened his scoring account for the season last night when Celtic came from behind to beat VFB Aalen 2-1 in the third and final match of their pre-season tour of Germany.

Neil Lennon's side had failed to score in their previous matches, a goal-less draw against Augsberg and 1-0 defeat against Stuttgart Kickers, and it didn't look promising when Aalen took the lead in the fourth minute through Benjamin Hubner.

It took the introduction of Paddy McCourt on the hour mark to liven things up, with Gary Hooper equalising soon afterwards before Stokes found the net with 13 minutes left to play.

"We started poorly and gave away a bad goal," Lennon admitted. "But we haven't worked on defensive set pieces yet, although that is no excuse.

"I gave them a bit of a rocket at half-time as some of them needed a wake-up call. You could see the lethargy lift in the second half. You can see a gradual improvement and in the second half we passed the ball really well. We were a lot better and we scored two great goals in the second half. We looked a lot brighter and it was good for the strikers to score."

Celtic move on to Holland on Saturday to face Ajax after finding out on Friday their opponents in the third qualifying round of the Champions League.