By Gavin McCafferty, PA
Celtic could not build on a dominant start to their Champions League contest against Shakhtar Donetsk as they were held to a frustrating 1-1 draw in Poland.
Reo Hatate’s run beyond the home defence led to Celtic taking an early lead but Mykhaylo Mudryk equalised against the run of play in the 29th minute.
Ange Postecoglou’s men survived some more pressure before reasserting their superiority after the break.
However, substitute Giorgos Giakoumakis missed the best in a series of opportunities for Celtic to claim their first European win of the campaign.
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) September 14, 2022
Having also squandered chances during their opening defeat by Real Madrid, Celtic now face another trip to RB Leipzig.
The point continued Shakhtar’s positive start to Group F following their shock win over Leipzig last week.
The Ukrainian side, who have been displaced from their home stadium since 2014, attracted a near capacity crowd of close to 30,000 in Legia Warsaw’s stadium but the vast majority of noise came from the away fans.
There was no minute’s silence for the Queen following discussions between both clubs and UEFA but both sets of players wore black armbands.
Off the pitch, some of the visiting fans made their anti-monarchy views known. A banner in the Celtic end stated “F*** the Crown” while another one said “Sorry for your loss Michael Fagan”, a reference to the intruder who broke into the Queen’s Buckingham Palace bedroom in 1982.
Early in the match, there was a chant of “If you hate the Royal Family, clap your hands” but the Celtic fans quickly had some positive play to get behind.
Matt O’Riley played in Kyogo Furuhashi in the opening minute but Shakhtar goalkeeper Anatoliy Trubin got a foot to the striker’s shot to divert it wide.
Greg Taylor’s driven cross was deflected just too far in front of the Japan forward and O’Riley had an effort saved before Celtic took the lead in the 10th minute.
Josip Juranovic’s diagonal ball found Sead Haksabanovic, who was making his first start for the club. The winger fed Hatate’s forward run and the midfielder’s shot took a deflection off Artem Bondarenko and went in. Furuhashi could have tapped it home but chose to leave it only for it to be credited as an own goal.
Celtic continued to cause Shakhtar numerous problems with their passing and movement but the Ukrainian side levelled out of the blue.
A pass inside former Legia right-back Juranovic gave left-winger Mudryk a clear run at goal and he fired high into the net.
The goal gave Donetsk a major lift and former Celtic winger Marian Shved soon had the ball in the net. Shved, who only made three appearances for the Hoops, was denied his dream goal by an offside flag against provider Mudryk.
Joe Hart then parried Shved’s curling effort before Celtic got the chance to regroup at half-time.
They again started well and Jota’s curling effort was spilled seconds after the restart but Shakhtar cleared the danger.
The Portuguese winger twice came close to scoring memorable goals but had shots blocked at the end of impressive mazy runs.
O’Riley threatened on a number of occasions and his replacement, David Turnbull, shot not far over from 25 yards.
Daizen Maeda saw an acrobatic effort diverted wide and another substitute, Giakoumakis, missed Celtic’s best chance for a winner with five minutes left. Taylor’s pass picked out the normally accurate Greek striker unmarked but he fired his left-footed shot wide from 14 yards.
Maeda also had a good late chance but the Japanese attacker fired wide as he slid to meet Juranovic’s driven cross.
Giakoumakis then beat the goalkeeper to a cross but his header did not have enough power to get away from a retreating Shakhtar defender, who stopped it going over the line.