Last-gasp win for Celtic
A last-gasp winner against Shakhtar Donetsk keeps Celtic's Champions League hopes alive.
By Kate Burlaga
Last Updated: 28/11/07 10:14pm
Celtic scored a last-minute winner against Shakhtar Donetsk to keep their Champions League dream alive, and qualification in their own hands.
Italian substitute Massimo Donati struck with almost the last kick of the game to clinch the 2-1 win at Celtic Park.
It means the Scottish champions now need only a point against Milan at the San Siro to progress to the last 16.
It had been a nightmare start for The Bhoys, when Brazilian Brandao put the visitors ahead on four minutes, taking advantage of an error by John Kennedy.
But a Jiri Jarosik equaliser just before half-time galvanised Celtic, and they withstood a surge of Shakhtar attacks before Donati's deflected shot sailed past Andriy Pyatov moments before the final whistle.
Brandao had given Shakhtar an early lead in Ukraine when he capitalised on a Celtic error - and history repeated itself.
Kennedy was under little pressure after a hopeful long ball to the edge of the Celtic box. But he headed his clearance against the Brazilian, whose finish was too strong for Boruc.
The home side were making basic errors and suffered a further blow in the 16th minute when Lee Naylor left the field on a stretcher. Donati came on in midfield, while Paul Hartley slotted in at left-back.
Scott McDonald shot narrowly over from 25 yards, and Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink met Gary Caldwell's cross eight yards out - only to glance his header inches wide.
The visitors continued to impress in possession, though, and Darijo Srna was not far away with a 20-yard volley after Artur Boruc had punched clear a free-kick.
Boruc then defied Brandao twice in 60 seconds, from corners on either side.
The Pole blocked from close range, after Jadson's near-post corner fell to the feet of his fellow Brazilian, and he then touched over a header following Srna's delivery.
Kennedy's night got even worse when he was carried off five minutes from half-time after going up for a high ball, and Steven Pressley came on for his first appearance of the season following back surgery.
Jarosik levelled with a powerful left-foot volley in the 45th minute, after Srna and Dmytro Chygrynsky had collided while trying to clear Caldwell's long ball.
Jarosik should have put Celtic in front during five minutes of injury-time when Aiden McGeady's superb back-post ball found him unmarked - but the Czech international somehow put his diving header off target.
Celtic started slowly after the break, but Vennegoor of Hesselink forced Pyatov to push out his volleyed cross - and Shakhtar were relieved the rebound did not fall more kindly for the Hoops.
Jadson shot over from 25 yards, after intercepting McGeady's pass to Jarosik - but chances were scarce at either end.
McDonald and McGeady could not get shots beyond a wall of orange, after Hartley's free-kick.
Celtic did create a good chance in the 74th minute - and it fell to Jarosik again. Hartley's near-post corner found the former Chelsea man, but he headed over under little pressure from eight yards.
Donetsk came close to a late winner when Brandao blazed over from eight yards after substitute Olexandr Gladkiy's cut-back.
But Donati found the bottom corner from McGeady's ball to the edge of the box at the end of two minutes of injury-time, to send the Celtic fans into raptures.
|Celtic||Team Statistics||Shakhtar Donetsk|
|1||1st Half Goals||1|
|2||Shots on Target||3|
|4||Shots off Target||4|