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  • Celts lose to Villarreal in charity match

    Celts lose to Villarreal in charity match

    By: Martin Dalziel in Villarreal on 03 Sep, 2014 21:42

  • Friendly

    El Madrigal, Spain

    Wednesday, September 3, 2014


    Gerard Moreno 55, 59, 71, 80


    Kayal 26, Berget 36


    CELTIC lost 4-2 to a strong Villarreal side tonight but charity was the clear winner on a balmy evening on the Spanish coast.

    A 20 minute power show from Gerard Moreno upfront for the hosts put paid to first half goals from Celtic but the score line came secondary to the over-all theme behind the match.

    The game was started by a brave Spanish youngster called Gohan, 13, who is living with cancer.

    The proceeds from the match will go towards a three-year research project aimed at helping children like him who live with the disease and he seized his moment of glory by scoring a goal in front of a delighted home crowd.

    Both teams then started the match proper and the youngster was substituted for Luciano Vietto.

    Jonathan dos Santos pulled the strings for the hosts in the opening 20 minutes from the middle of the park and his passes from deep created three good early openings for the Submari.

    The best of those fell to Gerard Moreno after a ball into the box caused confusion in the Celtic penalty area. He controlled well and turned on goal but Zaluska rushed out to clear the danger.

    The Spaniards continued to press but it was Celtic who took the lead against the run of play when good work from Joe Thomson won a free kick for the Bhoys roughly 30 yards out from the Villarreal box.

    A precise ball in from Leigh Griffiths then found Beram Kayal in the box and the midfielder despatched a backwards header past the stranded Sanchez in the home side’s goal.

    The home side pressed for an equaliser but couldn’t find a way through, despite good spells of passing and pressure.

    Dos Santos lashed a free kick just over and Zaluska did well to clear under pressure from Gerard and Vietto but it was the Hoops who scored next to double their lead.

    Jo-Inge Berget was quiet in the opening stages but made his mark when he picked the ball up just inside the Villarreal half, before charging down on goal unchallenged and unleashing a bullet drive high past Sanchez and into the goal to make it 2-0 to Celtic.

    Villarreal still looked dangerous on the counter attack but the scores remained unchanged at the break.

    The home side came out re-vamped for the second half after making three changes. Mateo Musacchio, Bruno Soriano and Matias Nanhuel all came on for Tomas Pina, Gabriel Paulista and Javier Espinosa.

    The changes worked and Villarreal soon had a goal back after a simple pass from Cristian Galas down the left flank found Gerard in the box, who despatched calmly past Zaluska.

    The home side’s striker then doubled his team’s lead after slotting home from an identical move down the left.

    Villarreal then made more changes with Cani, Manu Trigueros and Naranjo all coming on for dos Santos, Dorado and Vietto.

    It wasn’t long before those changes put the home side in front with Naranjo’s well placed cross finding Gerard free in the box again to fire home and make it 3-2 to the Submari.

    Celtic then made their own changes in an effort to claw their way back in. Leo Fasan replaced Zaluska in goal, Calvin Miller came on for Kayal and Dan Higgins and Regan Hendry replaced Berget and Jack Breslin.

    Boerrigter also made way for Jamie McCart but Celtic were soon two down after Gerard notched his fourth of the match.

    Naranjo was the provider again, feeding the striker a short pass in the box. The Spaniard then turned his defender and slammed the ball low past Fasan.

    The Bhoys regained their composure, however, and held out until the end of the game with the scores finishing 4-2.


    VILLARREAL (4-3-3): J.C. Sanchez; Mario, Pina (Musacchio 45), Dos Santos (Naranjo), Gohan (Vietto 2mins) Dorado (Nahuel), Gomez (Cani 59), Gabriel (Bruno 45), Gerard, Espinosa (Trigueros), Galas.

    Subs not used: Asenjo, Ruiz, Felipe, Maldonado.

    CELTIC (4-2-3-1): Zaluska (Fasan 66); Twardzik, Izaguirre, Breslin (Hendry 74), Tierney; Lindsay (Mcilduff 80), Kayal (Miller 60); Thomson, Berget (Higgins 74), Boerrigter (McCart 80); Griffiths

    Website man of the match: Joe Thomson

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