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Hooper living Champions League dream

Celtic striker Gary Hooper hailed his side’s progress to the last 16 of the Champions League as ‘a dream come true’.

The Scottish champions had been favourites for elimination when they were drawn against Spartak Moscow, Barcelona and Benfica.

But they sealed second spot on Wednesday with an emotional 2-1 home win against the Russian outfit, as the Portuguese team drew 0-0 at Camp Nou.

Hooper, who scored the first goal before Kris Commons thrashed home a late, match-winning penalty, told Sky Sports after the game: “It means a lot – it’s a dream come true.

“We knew we had to win and the performance was great, we defended better in the second half and it was a great penalty from Kris.

“We’re never written off. Home games is our game and it showed tonight – and the away game against Spartak, as well, we played really well and won the game (3-2). So keep watching and we’ll keep winning!

Asked how far Celtic can go in the competition, Hooper replied: “You never know. At home, we can beat anyone, I think – we showed that against Barca and then tonight – but we’ve got to take it game by game and wait for it.”

Added captain Scott Brown: “It’s fantastic. The lads worked so hard.

“For the last five minutes we never thought the game was going to end but it’s credit where credit’s due; we worked really hard, we created chances and we scored goals.

“We knew we were good at home and the fans were just phenomenal – they kept us going the whole 90 minutes.”

Thu 6 December, 2012
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