Celtic forced into final day decider

by Tony Cuddihy , 20 November 2012

Celtic will have to wait until the final round of matches in this year's Champions League to discover whether they will make the knockout rounds, after losing 2-1 to Benfica in Lisbon.

The Bhoys went behind early in the game when Ola John seized on some indecision in the visitors' box to shoot past Fraser Forster via a Mikael Lustig deflection.

Celtic were struggling but somehow picked up an equaliser out of nowhere in the 32nd minute.

Charlie Mulgrew sent in a wonderful cross and Georgios Samaras was on hand to head in from just three yards out.

This galvanised Celtic who began pushing their defence higher up the pitch and winning the ball in good positions.

Unfortunately the Scottish side could not carry their fine form into the second half, and Benfica pummeled Celtic in search of a second goal.

It finally arrived when Luisao, still upfield after a corner, flicked the ball on to defensive partner Ezequiel Garay and the former Real Madrid man thumped a volley past Forster.

The Celtic goalkeeper subsequently saved two efforts from Oscar Cardozo, while Tony Watt's weak effort was the closest Neil Lennon's men came to an equaliser.

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