Wednesday, August 5, 2015

5 August 2009 - A Last-Minute Goal 220 Years In The Making

On 5 August 2009, Celtic defeated Dynamo Moscow 0-2 in the Champions League third qualifying round to advance 2-1 on aggregate. It was the first time in history that Celtic won a European tie after losing the first leg at home.

They nearly didn't make it. After losing the first leg in Glasgow, 0-1, the situation looked bleak. Playing before a below-capacity crowd of 12,000 at the Arena Khimki in Moscow, the hosts appeared content to sit on their one-goal advantage. But a 44th-minute header from striker Scott McDonald leveled the aggregate score at 1-1.

Celtic, who had enjoyed the majority of possession in the first half, continued to control the match after the break. McDonald narrowly missed another goal in the 62nd minute, as his shot flew just inches past the far post. In the 79th minute, with extra-time looming, manager Tony Mowbray replaced McDonald with striker Georgios Samaras (pictured). The Greek striker quickly repaid Mowbray's faith with a stunning bit of athleticism, dribbling through three Dynamo defenders to notch the tie-winner in the 90th minute.

It was the first time in the club's more than 220 years of history that they won a European tie after losing the first leg at home. The euphoria did not last long, however, as Celtic were eliminated from the competition in the next round by Arsenal.

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