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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 August 2007, 21:30 GMT 22:30 UK
Celtic 1-1 Spartak Moscow (2-2)
Celtic win 4-3 on penalties

By Colin Moffat

Maciej Zurawski celebrates with Celtic goalkeeper Artur Boruc
Goalkeeper Artur Boruc was the shoot-out hero
Celtic won through 4-3 in a tense penalty shoot-out to reach the group stage of the Champions League.

Artur Boruc saved two weak efforts from the spot on a night when both sides hit the woodwork with penalties in an action-packed 120 minutes.

Scott McDonald shot Celtic ahead only for Roman Pavluchenko, who missed an earlier spot-kick, to level.

With Spartak down to 10 men, Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink missed an extra time penalty but his side won through.

A match packed with talking points started like whirlwind and just didn't slow down.

MY SPORT: DEBATE
The visitors start brightly and a darting run by Vladimir Bystrov worried the Celtic defence before captain Egor Titov flashed a cross narrowly wide of Boruc's far post.

Vennegoor of Hesselink should have done better from a Shunsuke Nakamura corner than hit the top of the net with his shoulder.

Boruc had to race from his line and block and shot from Welliton when the Brazilian striker broke in behind the home rearguard.

But, as played raged from end to end, the best early chance fell to McDonald, who pushed a shot wide from 10 yards.

The impressive Bystrov left Lee Naylor and Gary Caldwell standing before his cut-back to Dmitri Torbinsky drew a good save from Boruc and Naylor was on hand to clear the loose ball from the goal-line.

Spartak were awarded a soft penalty on 24 minutes when another effort from Welliton ricocheted off Boruc and hit the arm of Caldwell, who lay prone on the turf.

However, Celtic enjoyed a welcome slice of fortune when Pavluchenko slammed his spot-kick against the post.

And the breaks continued to go the way of the home side two minutes later when a hopeless clearance from Roman Shishkin fell at the feet of McDonald and the grateful Australian tucked his shot away from 12 yards.

Celtic won through on a night of high drama
McDonald shot Celtic in front on a night of high drama

The Russians looked rather flat after conceding the goal but were gifted a sloppy equaliser a minute before the interval.

Pavluchenko was allowed to control a corner kick on his chest and, as the ball looped up in the air, was given time to sweep a shot in at the back post.

Boruc was furious to lose the goal and moments later he and Naylor had to be separated by Caldwell as they squared up to each other.

Play got scrappier after the break as nerves frayed and passes went astray but the frantic pace showed no signs of abating.

There was a fright for home fans when an unconvincing punch from Boruc fell to the feet of an opponent but the ball was scrambled clear.

On 80 minutes McDonald ran on to a neat Massimo Donati pass but his angled shot lacked power and Stipe Pletikosa made a comfortable save.

Nakamura then squandered three great chances inside two minutes, failing to beat Pletikosa with a lob and a one-on-one opportunity before ballooning a shot over.

With Celtic pouring forward, Spartak went a man down when Martin Stranzl saw red for a lunge at Vennegoor of Hesselink.

Vennegoor of Hesselink flashed a header wide and Boruc did well to claw away a flighted shot from Pavluchenko in extra time before Celtic won a penalty.

Scott Brown's strike was stopped by a Russian hand but Vennegoor of Hesselink rattled the crossbar with his spot-kick to lift the level of drama yet higher.

Nakamura's night got worse when his penalty hit the bar but Boruc saved from Titov and Maxim Kalinichenko for a 4-3 penalty victory.

Caldwell, Vennegoor of Hesselink, Derek Riordan and Maciej Zurawski were the men on target for Celtic.


Celtic: Boruc, Wilson, Caldwell, McManus, Naylor (O'Dea 110), Nakamura, Scott Brown, Donati, McGeady (Riordan 104), McDonald (Zurawski 97), Vennegoor of Hesselink.
Subs Not Used: Mark Brown, Hartley, Killen, Sno.

Booked: Caldwell, Riordan.

Goals: McDonald 27.

Spartak Moscow: Pletikosa, Soava, Stranzl, Kovac, Shishkin, Mozart, Torbinsky (Boyarintsev 100), Titov, Bystrov (Kalinichenko 95), Welliton (Dedura 88), Pavluchenko.
Subs Not Used: Homich, Geder, Sabitov, Dzjuba.

Sent Off: Stranzl (85).

Booked: Shishkin, Torbinsky.

Goals: Pavluchenko 45.

Agg (2-2): Celtic win 4-3 on penalties

Att: 65,000

Referee: Roberto Rosetti (Italy).

SEE ALSO
Strachan hails Celtic mentality
29 Aug 07 |  Europe


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