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Page last updated at 18:40 GMT, Saturday, 13 February 2010

Celtic's Mowbray bemoans loss of penalty at Aberdeen

Celtic manager Tony Mowbray and first-team coach Peter Grant
Mowbray (left) was left frustrated by the loss of two late goals

Celtic boss Tony Mowbray felt conceding a penalty was the turning point in his side's 4-4 draw with Aberdeen.

With Celtic 4-2 ahead, Edson Braafheid handled in the box and Steven MacLean converting the spot-kick before firing a late equaliser.

"At 4-2, we felt the game was just about done," said Mowbray.

"And yet we give them, inexplicably, a lifeline with a penalty from nowhere. I don't know why the hand goes up. No complaints, it was a penalty kick."

Diomansy Kamara and Marc-Antoine Fortune exchanged goals with Aberdeen's Michael Paton and Darren Mackie during an open first half.

Robbie Keane's first Scottish Premier League goal and Aiden McGeady's strike put the visitors on course for victory before MacLean's brace in the closing 15 minutes.

"Ultimately, it's frustrating," said Mowbray.

"The first half was as poor as we've been. We didn't get a grip of the game and yet we scored a couple of great goals.

"It's points dropped for us. To score four goals away from home and not win the match is obviously disappointing.

"If anything, in that period of going 4-2 up, their keeper made two fantastic saves, plucking one out of the top corner and the game looked finished. Credit to them, they kept going."

Mowbray decided to withdraw Keane and send on Georgios Samaras before Aberdeen staged their comeback.

But, asked if he regretted that substitution, the Celtic manager replied: "No, not at all.

Rangers might get beat tomorrow. It might be a point gained for us, so we'll wait and see

Tony Mowbray

"They've got a very good dead-ball delivery. We knew that any free-kick anywhere on the pitch was coming into our box and Samaras at six foot four was going to be more of an aid than Robbie and, ultimately, their equaliser is a corner.

"Robbie stays up the field for corners, so he's got no influence on that."

With Andreas Hinkel, Glenn Loovens and Jos Hooiveld absent from the Celtic defence, Mowbray had to rely on the inexperienced Paul Caddis, Josh Thompson and Darren O'Dea alongside Braafheid.

"You'd rather have your experienced footballers out there doing their job and the young team that we had and the changes we've had to make obviously doesn't help the situation," said Mowbray.

"We scored some great goals today and looked a menace going forward.

"Once we get the players back defensively then you'd hope that we'd have not conceded the goals of the like we did today."

The result cuts league leaders Rangers advantage to seven points, with the Ibrox due to face Hibernian on Sunday.

"Rangers might get beat tomorrow. It might be a point gained for us, so we'll wait and see," added Mowbray.

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see also
Aberdeen 4-4 Celtic
13 Feb 10 |  Scottish Premier

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