A fine strike from rising star Mykhaylo Mudryk saw Shakhtar Donetsk come from a goal behind to earn a 1-1 draw against Scottish champions Celtic in Warsaw on Wednesday in Champions League Group F.
Ange Postecoglou’s side have developed a reputation for starting games quickly and a blistering opening 10 minutes saw them take the lead courtesy of an Artem Bondarenko own goal following great work from Reo Hatate.
Celtic continued to probe and in the 28th minute defender Mortiz Jenz came close to making it 2-0, his effort was saved by the feet of Anatoliy Trubin.
Just a matter of seconds after the miss, Shakhtar hit Celtic with a sucker punch. The Ukrainian side counter-attacked with precision, Heorhiy Sudakov found livewire Mudryk with a brilliant ball and the 21-year-old got away from Josip Juranovic before smashing into the roof of the net past Joe Hart to score his second goal of the group stage.
The goal turned the game on its head as it was then Shakhtar who looked the more likely to score a second.
The second half was reminiscent of the first 30 minutes of the first, Celtic completely dominated possession but for all of their 11 shots, they could only manage two efforts on target.
Shakhtar held firm and despite failing to muster a shot on target in the second half, they earned themselves a point in Warsaw and sit top of Group F on four points.
Celtic put in a performance that perhaps warranted all three points rather than one, but at least have their first point on the board after a tricky away match.
Up next for Celtic is another away day, they face RB Leipzig on October 5, while Shakhtar face a daunting trip to the Bernabeu to face defending champions Real Madrid.
Encouraging signs for Celtic: Despite only taking a point, Celtic put in a performance that on another day, could have earned them all three.
After a 3-0 defeat in their first fixture against Real Madrid, it was imperative that Celtic started got themselves up and running in Group F. Postecoglou’s men will rue their missed chances but will be encouraged by the performance, particularly in the latter stages of the game.
Celtic will fancy that if they turn in a repeat performance, especially at home, that they could pick up wins in Group F, especially against Shakhtar and RB Leipzig.
What they need to figure out between now and their next Champions League match on October 5 is how to channel their free-scoring habits in Scotland into Europe.
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Jota (Celtic): The Portuguese winger was a constant threat out wide. He completed eight dribbles, always looking to beat his man and get into a dangerous position. He embarked on two fantastic solo runs and was unlucky not to make anything of either run. He looked frustrated at full-time, but if he continues to perform like that in this competition, it won’t be long before he makes an impact on the scoresheet.
Shakhtar Donetsk: Trubin 7, Taylor 6, Bondar 7, Matviyenko 6, Konoplia 6, Stepanenko 7, Shved 7, Bondarenko 6, Sudakov 7, Mudryk 7, Zubkov 6 Subs: Petriak 6, Durasek, 7, Ocheretko 6, Traore 6
Celtic: Hart 6, Taylor 6, Jenz 7, Carter-Vickers 7, Juranovic 7, Hatate 7, McGregor 7, Jota 8*, O’Riley 7, Haksabanovic 6, Kyogo 7 Subs: Mooy 7, Turnbull 7, Giakoumakis 7, Maeda 6, Abada n/a
10′ GOAL! SHAKHTAR DONETSK 0-1 CELTIC (HATATE) – Celtic’s fantastic start is rewarded with an early goal! Hatate’s strike takes a deflection and is in the back of the net!
28′ BIG CHANCE Central defender Moritz Jenz sees his close range effort saved by the right foot of Trubin.
29′ GOAL! SHAKHTAR DONETSK 1-1 CELTIC (MUDRYK) It’s that man Mudryk! An emphatic finish with his left foot past Hart. A classic example of a swift counter-attack. A real sucker punch for Celtic.
44′ JOTA GOES CLOSE Jota, now over on the right hand side, fires an effort on target but it’s collected comfortably. Celtic now getting on the ball once more.
56′ ALMOST A JOTA WONDER GOAL! The Portuguese winger went past several Shakhtar defenders as if they weren’t there but could not find a finish.
73′ JOTA GOES CLOSE AGAIN! All that was missing was the finish, Jota again slalom’s past defenders to get into a shooting position but his effort is deflected behind for a corner.
85′ WHAT A CHANCE! Giakoumakis strikes wide of the post. So close to being the potential winner for Celtic!
89′ INCHES AWAY! A golden opportunity for Celtic, Maeda kept himself onside and put his effort just wide! Agony for Ange Postecoglou’s side.