MX23RW : Wednesday, January 16 21:14:00

Result: Celtic forced to settle for home draw against AEK Athens

Result: Celtic held to draw by AEK
© Reuters
Celtic fail to overcome 10-man AEK Athens as Wednesday's Champions League third-round qualifying first leg at Parkhead ends in a 1-1 draw.

Celtic have failed to overcome 10-man AEK Athens as Wednesday's Champions League third-round qualifying first leg at Parkhead ended in a 1-1 draw.

The visitors began the game with intent as Konstantinos Galanopoulos tried his luck from range two minutes in, but Craig Gordon was able to save with ease.

Celtic soon imposed themselves on their opponents, however, with Odsonne Edouard and Callum McGregor both testing the AEK backline.

The hosts eventually broke the deadlock on 17 minutes through McGregor, who connected with Kieran Tierney's deflected cross and lashed an effort into the bottom corner.

Although the Hoops continued to push forward in search of a second, AEK remained dangerous on the counter and duly levelled proceedings just before the break.

Celtic's backline failed to deal with a cross drilled across their box, which allowed Viktor Klonaridis to take a touch in plenty of time and strike beyond Gordon in the Bhoys' net.

AEK shot themselves in the foot after the restart, with Galanopoulos sent off after earning two yellow cards in just seven second-half minutes.

Despite having a man advantage, however, Brendan Rodgers's side could not make the most of the opportunity to find a winner as the spoils were shared come full time.

The second leg takes place at the Athens Olympic Stadium on Tuesday, with the winners of the tie facing either Swedish side Malmo or Hungarian outfit MOL Vidi in the playoff round.

CELTIC (4-1-4-1): Gordon; Lustig (Sinclair 77'), Hendry, Ajer, Tierney; Brown; Forrest, McGregor, Ntcham, Rogic (Griffiths 63'); Edouard

AEK ATHENS (4-2-3-1): Barkas; Bakakis, Oikonomou, Lampropoulos, Lopes; Galanopoulos, Simoes; Bakasetas (Saldanha 66'), Victor (Galo 80'), Hult; Livaja (Ponce 77')

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Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers at the Scottish Cup final between Celtic and Motherwell on May 19, 2018
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Celtic20133446143242
2RangersRangers21126343162742
3Aberdeen21123634241039
4Kilmarnock2011542920938
5St Johnstone2010462524134
6Hearts2110472526-134
7Hibernian2079430181230
8Livingston218672619730
9Motherwell2163122033-1321
10Hamilton AcademicalHamilton2142151443-2914
11St Mirren2133151539-2412
12Dundee2124151546-3110

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