Celtic beaten by Kazakhstan minnows

Published Add your comment

Celtic's first leg of their Champions League play-off round tie with Kazakhstan side Shakhter Karagandy could not have gone any worse.

The Glasgow side lost 2-0 with the Kazakhs scoring in both halves.

The match started brightly enough in the Kazakhstan capital of Astana, but after 12 minutes the home captain Andrei Finonchenko made the most of some very poor defending from a long throw to send the stadium into a frenzy.

Georgios Samaras was ball watching and Fraser Foster's hesitance in goal will have done little to help his ambitions of making the England squad.

Celtic almost grabbed that all important away goal a few minutes later, though, when Kris Commons' strike from around 30 yards rattled the woodwork.

The rest of the half was comfortable for the home side, however, and every set piece won in Celtic's half looked to worry the Celtic defence.

Neil Lennon will have to get working on defending from set pieces if his side are to cope any better at home next Wednesday. 

The side went into the break with the score at 1-0 and Lennon decided against making any changes, instead hoping that his side could make better use of their large majority of possession.

They failed to take any advantage in the second half, however, as Karagandy defended even closer to their own box and even looked problematic on the counter attack.

Almost half an hour into the second half, Celtic came as close to levelling as they had done since Commons' near miss. James Forrest met Emilio Izaguirre's ball, but the keeper made a decent stop.

Then just minutes later it got a whole lot worse for the visitors. Steven Mouyokolo, who had looked completely lost at centre-back all match, lost the ball in the Celtic half with a poor attempt at a clearance. The defender managed to block the resulting shot, but the ball was fired back in and Sergei Khizhnichenko doubled his side's lead.

Hero and man of the match Andrei Finonchenko was substituted a few minutes later, but Celtic couldn't capitalise on the loss of his presence. Amido Balde came on, but was unable to aid Samaras up front, who had looked lethargic and all evening in his difficult lone striker position.

The final whistle few minutes came and went without any real danger coming from Celtic and the home fans went wild with celebration as the match ended.

Karagandy coach Viktor Kumykov had promised to give up smoking if his side won the match. He'll likely be chewing gum when we next see him at Celtic Park a week on Wednesday.

Write for GiveMeSport! Sign-up to the GMS Writing Academy here:

DISCLAIMER: This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE:

Premier League

Read more

back to top