HJK Helsinki-Celtic FC. How we lived it

HJK Helsinki-Celtic FC. How we lived it
The opening leg was a difficult one for the Bhoys, they had to overcome a stunning goal from the Finns to claim a 2-1 victory.
HJK Helsinki
0 2
Celtic FC
HJK Helsinki: Wallén; Sumusalo, Lindström, Lahti, Sorsa; Savage, Perovuo (Sadik, min.70), Väyrynen, Mannström; Schüller; Pohjanpalo (Pelvas, min.78).
Celtic FC: Forster, Matthews, Rogne, Mulgrew, Izaguirre; Brown, Wanyama, Ledley, Commons (Forrest, min.75); Samaras (Murphy, min.88), Hooper (Kayal, min.75).
SCORE: 0-1, min.67, Ledley. 0-2, min.86, Samaras.
REFEREE: R. Schörgenhofer‎ (AUT) Admonished Commons (min.15), Mulgrew (min.51), Wanyama (min.64 and min.70) was dismissed for two bookable offences. Savage (min.88)
INCIDENTS: 2nd leg of the Champions League's 3rd qualifying round. Played at the Sonera Stadium (Helsinki, Finland). 10 000 spectators.

FINAL Celtic are through after a match where they holded Helsinki well. They looked sloppy during the first minutes of the second half, but Ledley's goal helped to make their position more secure and comfortable. Wanyama's dismissal was a stone on Celtic's way, but they coped well with it. Samaras goal gave Celtic calm for the dying minutes of the game. They were not particularly brilliant over the two games, but the tie is now over, 4-1 Celtic and they will look for their next opponents on Friday's draw. The Bhoys will travel now to Philadelphia where they will play against Spanish giants Real Madrid. We leave you with this afternoon's goals, scored by Joe Ledley and Georgios Samaras to give Celtic their first European away win in three years. See you on our next minute by minute coverage!

90+3' Final whistle. Celtic are through.

90+2' Helsinki's attacks are aborted, they are unorganised and end up always in Forster's hands.

90+1' Added time: 3 minutes.

90' Matthews is injured while the home fans start walking away from the stadium.

88' Savage receives Helsinki's first yellow after a tackle from behind on Matthews.

87' Final change for Celtic, Murphy replaces Samaras just after the Greek decided the tie.

85' GOOOOOOAAAAALLLLLLL!!! SAMARAS SCORES!!!! As in Moscow three years ago, the Greek decides the tie. Ledley  controls a long ball and passes the ball to the Greek, who smashes the ball into the net. 0-2 and Game Over for Helsinki now.

84' Kayal gets a yellow card for a professional tackle on Savage. Dangerous position, 15 yards from the penalty box. The shoot rebounds off the men in the wall. Celtic counter attack and retain the ball.

82' Väyrinen shoots from distance, but it goes out left. Desperation among the local fans now...

80' Ten minutes and Celtic will reach the last round. They will have to fight a lot to avoid receiving a goal though.

78' Pelvas replaces Pohjonpalo, Helsinki introduce fresh legs to overcome Celtic's lead.

77' Celtic will look to defend their lead now, with Samaras being the main attacking player up front.

75' Double change from Celtic. Forrest replaces Commons while Beram Kayal is in for Gary Hooper.

73'This  doesn't depress Celtic, as they look close to scoring in a good counter attack involving Commons, Hooper and Samaras, a defender saves Helsinki when Hooper was looking for a pass from the Greek.

72' Bad news for Celtic as Victor Wanyama is dismissed after another yellow card.

70' Sadik comes in to replace Perovuo. Helsinki need three goals to qualify now.

67' GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOALLLLLLL!! LEDLEY SCOOOOOORESSSS. After a superb cross from Mulgrew, who took the ball out of the defense and combined with Samaras in the build up, Ledley heads the ball home from close range. This goal gives Celtic a massive boost of confidence now!

65' Ledley is fouled close to the Helsinki box. It's a good position for Kris Commons tu put in a good deliver. The defense takes the ball out of danger again...

63' Samaras low cross (like in the opening tie) almost finds Hooper, but a defender sends the ball to corner. Celtic fail to create any danger but they are still in possession.

62' Helsinki's BEST chance, a header is almost in after Forster fails to catch the ball. It's a corner. The Englishman now looks more reliable and catches the deliver easily.

58' Celtic's attacks are non existant during this second half. Hopeless balls punted up the park are their only "threat".

56' Rash tackle on Samaras. The referee doesn't show him a yellow card this time...

54' Wanyama receives a yellow card after a tackle from behind to Sorsa. Dangerous position for the Finns, it's like a corner. The ball is out of danger, but the pressure continues. It's the most difficult time for the Celtic defense. Helsinki look a yard sharper and quicker than them.

51' Mulgrew gets out of the defense with the ball at his feet, he is fouled by Vayrynen. Commons delivers and it's headed by a Celtic player, he and his teammates claims a handball! The referee doesn't trust them and the game continues. Mulgrew receives a yellow card after a professional foul on a Helsinki player.

49' The game's pace has slowed now a bit. Celtic have time to build on their defense now. The Finns have now the bulk of possession.

47' Almost a deja vu for Celtic. Disastrous defending and Sorsa shoots to beat Forster, but his ball is somehow deflected to corner. Celtic were caught sleeping there...

46' And we are underway again! Helsinki are with the ball right now.

18:56. Celtic have had three chances during the first half. Brown's shot was out wide, the same can be said about Samaras attempt, while Hooper's goal was ruled off for offside.

HALF TIME It's not being a classic. Celtic are moving the ball well sometimes, but they are lacking consistency right now. Their fitness has improved since the first leg and they are controlling the Helsinki's wingers better than at Parkhead. A 0-0 would qualify Celtic, but they will have to bury their chances on the second half if they don't want a late, dramatic knocking out from Europe. Neil Lennon's men look comfortable right now, but a goal from the Finns would give a turn around to the situation.

45+1' Helsinki pass the ball around until the Austrian referee signals the end of this first half.

45' Added time: 1 minute.

42' Samaras heads a Commons cross from the right flank, but the referee marks a foul against the Greek. Hooper gets a good pass from Commons on the following play, but his bad touch ends the goalscoring opportunity. Celtic are pressing a bit just before the half time whistle!

39' Helsinki's players are getting in good positions now. Celtic fail to create a chance after a fine counterattack... the last pass between the attacking players has failed to appear. Celtic need better passing on the final third.

35' Helsinki's best passing display so far ends in a misshot from Savage. Great cross from the right wing after some quick passing, but the Gambian fails to connect with the ball.

33' Nothing of interest has happened in the last few minutes. The Helsinki faithful are trying to chant a bit to help their team. Celtic are giving away some cheap fouls while their passing game has almost disappeared. Thus, Helsinki are having more of the ball now, but they are failing to create anything dangerous.

27' Commons receives a yellow card. It has to be said that it hasn't been a violent game so far. A few fouls but no rash tackles.

25' Celtic get a corner too, but they can't use it to create a good chance. Both teams have  failed to deliver good service to their strikers so far. Brown's shot has been the only clear chance during this first half.

22' Matthews gives away a corner after miscontrolling a long pass from the Helsinki's defensive line. Celtic get the ball out but Helsinki are still in possession. They finally concede a throw in.

19' Savage tries to get away from Matthews, but the Welshman controls him well. Good pace from the right-back.

16' Celtic are enjoying good spells of possession, but they need to put their chances to bed if they want to avoid a nervy game.

13' A great Commons pass finds Samaras. The Greek chests the ball down but his shot won't be part of Celtic's history. It goes out right.

12' Great chance for Celtic! A good pass from Mulgrew finds Brown, the captain tries to score with his right-foot, but his low shot goes out right. Fantastic chance! He had the keeper at his mercy!

9' Good spell of possession for Celtic. It ends in a shot. Commons tries to surprise Wallén with a right footed shot but it's deflected, too soft for the Helsinki's keeper.

6' Savage finds space and shoots with his right foot, it goes way out of target.

5' Celtic get in a good position after some nice touches. Hooper fails to shot and then Ledley's try rebounds into Helsinki's defense. Celtic have to take the ball down if they want to be in the driving seat.

4' Helsinki are in possession while Celtic are deffending with most of their players. They will look to get a clean sheet today.

2' Celtic get the ball out of danger. Helsinki are still in possession.

1' And we are underway! Celtic have the ball but lose it quickly, Mulgrew gives away a throw in and later Helsinki get a dangerous f ree-kick.

17:59. Celtic will wear they black strip today. Both teams are doing the huddle just before the game starts.

17:58. A score draw and a 2-0 win are the latest predictions on Celtic_VAVEL. No one believes the Bhoys will be defeated today. We will start to find the answer in a few minutes...

17:55. The last time the two teams met in Helsinki was in 2000. Celtic had won the firsrt tie 2-0, but lost with the same result in Helsinki. Chris Sutton rescued O'Neill's Bhoys in the extra time. There's never an easy match in Scandinavia.

17:53. Helsinki trashed Iceland's KR 7-0 in their only CL game played at their stadium this season, quite an impressive number, but Celtic will prove to be tougher opposition today.

17:49. According to Celtic's official twitter, it looks like Forrest is on the bench, so he won't finally miss this crucial tie.

17:42. HJK Helsinki drew 3-3 against Inter Turku on their last game at home. They had to come back at the end to level. Celtic kick-started their domestic season with a narrow win against Aberdeen. Jamie Langfield's intervention was really important to gift Celtic the goal that gave them the first 3 league points.

17:34. The Bhoys in Vavel seemed confident this morning. Here you have their predictions:

"2.1 Celtic" @raymey1979

"2-1 Celtic,Commons,and Mulgrew to score,their you have it,stick a £10 on " @stephenmartin29

Some of them were a bit more cautious, though:

"Well, 1 away win in 33! I think I will be watching this game through my fingers!" @jockmccruyff

17:29. HJK Helsinki's manager, Antti Muurinen, is confident that his side can go through:

"We played well in Glasgow and we have a chance to win the tie," he explained. "Celtic are tough opponents but we had our spells in the away game and we created chances for more than one goal.

"We are the underdogs and all the pressure is on Celtic, but we really want to show what we can do and we believe we can win this tie."

17:25. Here we go with Helsinki's lineup. Wallén; Sumusalo, Lindström, Lahti, Sorsa; Savage, Perovuo, Väyrynen, Mannström; Schüller; Pohjanpal.

17:19. John Girvan wrote a preview on today's game. 

17:13. The game will be played at an artificial pitch. Neil Lennon and the Bhoys trained yesterday in a rare surface for them. Anyway, this can't serve as an excuse. Celtic played in an artificial pitch in Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium, Paul Hartley scored the goal to give the Bhoys the lead in a match that ended 1-1.

17:12. Subs: Zaluska, Stokes, McCourt, Lustig, Kayal, McGeouch, Murphy. Forrest is left out.

17:11.  Celtic have just announced today's lineup on their website. They will play the usual 4-4-2 with: Forster, Matthews, Rogne, Mulgrew, Izaguirre; Brown, Wanyama, Ledley, Commons; Samaras, Hooper.

17:10. Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. Celtic will play in less than an hour their most important game of the season. The match in Helsinki is crucial for their European hopes and their financial stability in the long term. Given the bad results Scottish teams have obtained so far, it's an important afternoon too for the game in Scotland. A team in the European elite would help to improve the Scottish coeficient, which has been going backwards since 2008, when Rangers achieved an European final (which they would ultimately lose against Zenit St Petersburg). Since that, failure has been the word associated with Scottish clubs in Europe, no matter if they were minnows like Falkirk, or powerhouses like Celtic or Rangers.