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  • Late goals condemn battling Bhoys to defeat in Paris

    Late goals condemn battling Bhoys to defeat in Paris

    By: Mark Henderson in Paris on 22 Nov, 2017 15:29

  • UEFA Youth League
    Stade Georges-Lefevre, Paris
    Wednesday, November 22, 2017

    (Mbe Soh 78, Adli 86)


    LATE goals from Loic Mbe Soh and Yacine Adli consigned Celtic Under-19s to a 2-0 defeat to their Paris Saint-Germain counterparts today, ending their hopes of reaching the knockout stages of the competition.

    Although the Bhoys matched their hosts throughout the match at the Stade Georges-Lefevre, they failed to capitalise on several good openings and the French side were able to bank all three points thanks to their late double salvo.

    Just like every game in group so far, there were plenty of positives in the performance for Tommy McIntyre’s team but they will now only be playing for pride in their final fixture of the section when they host Anderlecht on December 5.

    McIntyre had made two changes to the side that faced Bayern Munich at Cappielow in their last outing in the competition, with Lewis Bell replacing the suspended Calvin Miller at left-back and Mark Hill coming in for the Mikey Johnston.

    Goalkeeper Ryan Mullen, an ever-present in the competition so far for the Bhoys, was quickly called into action to deny Timothy Weah, who had unleashed a shot from the edge of the box. It was a superb save from the young Celt as he sprang to his left and pushed the ball to safety.

    But it didn’t take long for the young Hoops to threaten at the other end as Kerr McInroy fastened onto an errant pass and fired over after from 18 yards.

    With captain Regan Hendry an assertive presence in the midfield, McIntyre’s side were enjoying some prolonged periods of possession, and Broque Watson had a long-range effort charged down.

    The visitors, however, had to remain alert at the back, and Robbie Deas had to make a vital block from Weah’s dangerous delivery, while Mullen made another smart stop from Moussa Diaby’s low drive as both teams went in level at the break.

    Searching for the breakthrough, the Celts burst from the blocks at the start of the second half, and their aggressive pressing presented them with an early opening as Ewan Henderson’s lofted pass was met by Aitchison, whose cut-back was smothered by Sebastian Cibois.

    As the match remained evenly poised, Deas made a terrific tackle to thwart Diaby, while Hendry continued to look the most creative outlet for the young Hoops with his solo runs and through balls.

    In the 72n minute, Watson came close to breaking the deadlock when he broke into the box but Cibois was equal to his low shot as the visitors maintained the momentum.

    However, the game swung in the home side’s favour shortly after as Celtic could only partially clear the ball from a PSG corner, allowing Mibe Soh to poke the ball home.

    That sparked a flurry of substitutions from the Bhoys as Grant Savoury, Thomas Caffrey and Daniel Church entered the fray for the closing stages to try and revive their fortunes.

    But their attempts to salvage something from the contest were in vain as the Parisians doubled their advantage when Diaby picked out Adli, who made no mistake with an accurate finish beyond Mullen.

    Spiritedly, Celtic stuck to their task and only an excellent save from Cibois prevented them from grabbing a consolation, the keeper springing to his left to get his hands to Hendry’s crisp strike which had looked destined for the bottom corner.

    CELTIC (4-2-3-1) Mullen; Duffy, Welsh, Deas, Bell (Church 84); Hill, McInroy; Hendry, Henderson (Savoury 80), Watson (Caffrey 80); Aitchison
    Not Used: Willison, Diver, Potter, Johnston


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