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  • Commons on target as Celts draw with Dynamo

    Commons on target as Celts draw with Dynamo

    By: Mark Henderson in Germany on 19 Jul, 2014 17:22

  • Pre-season friendly

    Glucksgass Stadion, Dresden

    Saturday, July 19, 2014

     

    DYNAMO DRESDEN...1

    Calvanious  68

    CELTIC...1

    Commons 8

    CELTIC

    CELTIC were left to settle for a share of the spoils away to Dynamo Dresden after Kris Commons’ early goal was cancelled out by Sylvano Calvanious.

    Last year’s Scottish Player of the Year showed the sort of finishing which saw him breach the 30-goal barrier last season as he broke the deadlock with only seven minutes on the clock after good setup play from Callum McGregor and Teemu Pukki.

    But after the Hoops rang the changes at the break in order to give the full squad further game-time, the hosts levelled the match through Calvanious, the big striker forcing a shot home, despite some desperate defending from the visitors.

    Craig Gordon made his Celtic debut as the manager made a number of changes from the side that overcame KR Reykjavik 1-0 on Tuesday.

    However, it was still a strong team with plenty of experience selected by the Norwegian. Efe Ambrose and Virgil van Dijk continued their central defensive partnership, while Beram Kayal and Nir Bitton anchored the midfield.

    Pukki led the line, with support provided by an attacking triumvirate of Dylan McGeouch, Kris Commons and McGregor, fresh from scoring on his Hoops bow over in Iceland.

    The Scottish champions made a positive start in the summer sunshine and within five minutes, Teemu Pukki had brought a save from Benjamin Kirsten in the Dynamo goal after fastening onto Beram Kayal’s probing pass.

    It wasn’t long, however, before Gordon was called into action for the first time in a Celtic shirt as he was forced to claw away a Marvin Stefaniak effort from 20 yards.

    Moments after Kirsten was forced into a hurried clearance from some effective pressing from the visitors, the Hoops made the breakthrough.

    The lively McGregor drove down the left, evading the clutches of Nils Teixeira, and his cross found Pukki. The Finn took a touch, teed-up Commons, who made no mistake, burying a shot into the far corner.

    McGregor was also involved in Celtic’s next chance, reaching Kayal’s through ball, but his driven cross couldn’t be reached by Pukki.

    Sinan Tekerci then spurned a decent chance to level matters at the other end, slicing a shot wide from Justin Eilers’ cross, before Stefaniak forced Gordon to make a smart stop.

    It was an open, entertaining contest, with both teams committed to adventure and play was swinging from end to end.  

    Following a purposeful burst down the middle, Kayal tested Kirsten with a stinging drive from distance. And clever play from McGregor presented Bitton with a sight of goal but he couldn’t keep his effort down.

    Fast and direct, Eilers was proving the greatest menace for the hosts down the Celtic left, and only Adam Matthews’ goal-line clearance prevented the winger from restoring parity.

    Adam Matthews and van Dijk had then to show a quick turn of foot to retrieve a dangerous break from the home side after Ambrose had been dispossessed.

    Pukki’s movement had been a thorn in the Dynamo rearguard, and a quick turn from the striker saw him a hammer a shot on target which forced Kirsten into a sprawling save.

    Just past the half-hour mark, Bitton fired over again from 18 yards after quick footwork from McGregor. And the young Celtic was to fore again after another promising move from the Bhoys but his final ball was too powerful for Pukki.

    However, before the break the Bhoys came close to losing their lead as the German outfit fashioned a flurry of chances – Comalius fired a free-kick over, Tekerci shot wide when bearing down on goal and Eilers dragged an effort wide.

    Commons was forced to leave the fray before the break, with Liam Henderson replacing the stand-in skipper. And when Celtic reappeared for the second half, there were 10 further changes as the manager rotated the squad.

    With all the new personnel on the pitch, and the searing heat, there wasn’t the same intensity after the interval with the best openings going the way of the home side.

    Stefaniak had a shot saved by Lukasz Zaluska and Stuart Findlay made a vital interception to deny Comalius, while Eilers remained a threat.

    Emilio Izaguirre saw a shot blocked in the box at the other end as Celtic began to reassert their authority on proceedings.

    But just moments after Celtic’s best move of the half, when Leigh Griffiths volleyed wide from Liam Henderson’s cross, Dynamo drew level.

    Tekerci got in behind the Hoops backline and, although Izaguirre managed to race back to clear his flick off the line, Comalius was there to bundle the ball home at the second attempt.

    Bouyed by that goal, they pressed for a winner and Tekerci skimmed the far post with a first-time effort. Zaluska had also to race from his line to clear a short backpass from Eoghan O’Connell

    However, the Hoops gradually recovered to finish strongly, putting together some fine passages of play, though lacking a killer final pass as the game finished in a stalemate.

    Attention will now turn to Tuesday’s crucial UEFA Champions League second-leg clash against Rekjavik.

    CELTIC (4-2-3-1) Gordon (Zaluska46); Matthews (Lustig 46), Ambrose (O’Connell46), van Dijk (Findlay 46), F.Twardzik (Izaguirre 46); Kayal (Johansen 46), Biton (Mulgrew 46); McGeouch (Griffiths 46), Commons (Henderson 41)  McGregor (Boerrigter 46); Pukki (Fridjonsson 46)

    Website Man of the Match: Beram Kayal

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