Fifty-four long years have passed since Celtic surprised continental aristocrats Inter Milan to become the first British team in history to win the European Cup.
But the Glasgowians will have to dig deep even to reach the Champions League group stage this season after they could only manage a 1-1 stalemate against the Danes from Midtjylland in Tuesday’s second qualifying round first leg. .
If the 1967 vintage of Jock Stein earned the nickname for the Lisbon Lions after their brilliant triumph, the new Celts coach Ange Postecoglou can only dream of reaching such dizzying heights after starting his mandate with a frustrating draw.
The former Australian J-League title winner with Yokohama F Marinos saw the two teams end a very competitive 10-man encounter after teenage Israeli winger Liel Abada scored an opening goal in the first half in front of a crowd of 9,000 at Parkhead.
However, Celtic lost a man before the break when defender Nir Bitton received a second warning.
Danes winger Anders Dreyer was given a red card for a dip after the restart before Evander equalized after 66 minutes with a free kick to keep things in order for the return leg in Denmark, where, under ‘a new UEFA rule, away goals will no longer count. double.
The winners will face either PSV Eindhoven or Galatasaray, which will face off on Wednesday.
“It’s a frustrating result,” said former Socceroos coach Postecoglou. “In terms of performance though, I am more than happy with the players,” he said, praising “a huge effort”.
Elsewhere, Rapid Vienna edged Sparta Prague as they battle for the right to face Monaco in the third qualifying round.
Croats Dinamo Zagreb scored a 2-0 home victory over Cypres Omonia Nicosia, while underdogs Lincoln of Gibraltar succumbed to a 2-1 home loss to Romanians Cluj.
Another action on Tuesday saw Moldovan Sheriff Tiraspol win 1-0 over Armenians Alashkert and Hungarians Ferencvaros beat Lithuanians Zalgiris Vilnius 2-0.
- Celtic 1 (SCO) FC Midtjylland (DEN) 1
- Alashkert FC (ARM) 0 Sheriff (MDA) 1
- Lincoln Red Imps (GIB) 1 CFR Cluj (ROM) 2
- Dinamo Zagreb (CRO) 2 Omonia Nicosia (CYP) 0
- Ferencvaros (HUN) 2 Zalgiris Vilnius (LIT) 0
- Rapid Vienna 2 (AUT) Sparta Prague (CZE) 1