Maribor 1-1 Celtic: Hoops take Euro lifeline
Crucial away goal from Callum McGregor

Callum McGregor's early away goal has put Celtic in the drivers seat of their Champions League playoff with Maribor.

The local boy winger gave the Bhoys a fantastic start in Slovenia in what was a lighting start to the game full stop. McGregor was handed a tap in just five minutes in when Patrick Berget cut in from the left side of the box and hit a scrappy shot goalwards which keeper Handinovic kicked as far as McGregor who turned it in with his right foot.

Just nine minutes later though and Maribor were level courtesy of their own wide man Damijan Bohar. He was put clear down the middle courtesy of a through ball by midfielder Flipovic which split the Celtic defence and allowed Bohar to sweep past the oncoming Craig Gordon first time.

The visitors main threat was from set pieces and Charlie Mulgrew was certain he'd put his team back in front when he headed a right wing Berget corner back across the goal which beat the keeper but not the defender on the line.

The Slovenian champions were close to a second goal themselves before half time and Gordon just about manged to deal with powerful efforts from distance by the likes Ibrahimi and Tavares.

In the second half the game's quick tempo cooled and clear cut chances were limited with possession and terrotirry being shared. The first save of the half came on the hour when Gordon got down low to his right to tip a diiping header from Ibrahimi wide following goood work by left back Viller.

Celtic's main chance came in the 66th minute from the source of lone striker Anthony Stokes. The Irish international managed to react quickest to the ball coming off his back in an aerial challenge before getting in the box and putting a slid right foot shot across goal only to see the ball go agonisingly wide of the keepers right post.

Chances till the end of the game were limited with the teams having one good distance effort a piece. Celtic's was through Virgil Van Dijk who let one go from 30 yards which the jkeeper managed to fist over. Craig Gordon then sprung high to his right to deny Maribor substitiute Mertel from the same range.

A game that either side could have won but a result Celtic will take more heading back to Glasgow next week with an away goal to their name.

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