Ange Postecoglou’s first competitive match in charge of Celtic ended in a 1-1 Champions League qualifying draw at home to Midtjylland, leaving the Bhoys with plenty of work to do in the second leg.
Celtic were unable to win a 10th successive Scottish Premiership title last season as Rangers ended their long drought, meaning Celtic have had to start in the second round of Champions League qualifying.
And Midtjylland – runners up in Denmark last term – proved stubborn opposition, looking particularly bright in the early stages.
Though Celtic opened the scoring in the 39th minute, Israeli youngster Liel Abada – a new signing from Maccabi Petah Tikva – turning in from the middle of the box after Jonas Lossl could only parry an initial effort from Ryan Christie, who had hit the post not long prior.
Nir Bitton then put Celtic’s position in doubt, reacting angrily to an apparent dive by Anders Dreyer and earning a second booking for poking the winger in the face.
But Dreyer – who was also yellow-carded in that prior incident – did not last much longer either, with referee Sandro Scharer making the arguably harsh decision to dismiss him in the 56th minute for what he perceived to be another display of simulation.
Celtic might have fancied their chances to finish the job after that, and they did swiftly hit the crossbar through Callum McGregor.
But unconvincing goalkeeping from Vasilios Barkas 10 minutes later allowed Evander to send a free-kick into the top-right corner, and that sealed a draw.
The two teams meet again in Denmark next Wednesday, though Celtic’s saving grace is away goals no longer count double as a tie-breaker.
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