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Rapid Vienna 1-1 Celtic: Pukki saves the day

Teemu Pukki celebrates his goal in Vienna. Picture: Getty

Teemu Pukki celebrates his goal in Vienna. Picture: Getty

CELTIC needed a late goal from Finnish striker and second-half substitute Teemu Pukki to rescue a draw with Rapid Vienna in their final game of the club’s pre-season tour.

Scorers: Rapid Vienna - Van Dijk (og 7); Celtic - Pukki (70)

The match began badly for the Hoops as they lost captain Scott Brown to an as yet undetermined injury in the first few minutes and then went one down with a Virgil Van Dijk own goal.

Brown pulled up almost immediately after kick-off with one of his first touches of the ball and signalled to the bench that his match was over.

After being stretchered off Brown was replaced by Beram Kayal but Rapid won a free kick down Celtic’s left flank and the ball in from the Austrian side’s captain, Steffen Hofmann, skimmed off the top of Virgil van Dijk’s head and past the stranded Lukas Zaluska. New manager Ronny Deila named the same line-up which defeated Russian side FK Krasnodar 3-1 in the first match of the tour and it was the opening goalscorer of that match, Anthony Stokes, who threatened first for Celtic.

The 32-time Austrian champions piled on the pressure with a series of corners on the 20-minute mark and Deila’s side found it difficult to threaten, apart from a Kris Commons free-kick around 30 yards out which skimmed the Rapid bar after Dylan McGeough was bundled off the ball.

Celtic had another chance to levelat the hal-hour mark after Stokes beat the offside trap and played in Derk Boerrigter but the ball appeared to bobble as the Dutchman took his shot and the effort went wide of an open goal.

Stokes gave Deila a moment of anxiety when he pulled up rubbing his knee but the striker was back on his feet quickly.

After the break Celtic carved out a number of early chances through free kicks and had a decent amount of possession, something they had struggled with in the first half.

But the Austrians still looked threatening when they attacked and tested Lukas Zaluska with a free kick from the edge of the box.

Deila made seven changes on the hour mark with Zaluska, Johansen, Lustig, Stokes, McGeough, Commons and Boerrigter all going off.

Balde, McGregor, Henderson, Griffiths, Matthews, Pukki and Fasan came on to replace them and a combination of Pukki and Griffiths gave them the breakthrough.

Griffiths found the Finn in the box after a break down the right but the striker’s first shot was saved by Jan Novota. Pukki made no mistake with the rebound and levelled for the Scottish champions.

Kayal was proving a handful for the Austrians but was still substituted to allow Eoghan O’Connell some time on the park.

Rapid were looking to attack on the break but Celtic continued to press and were camped in Rapid’s half for much of the rest of the game.

Balde came closest to sealing a victory after he cut inside from the left, but his strike went over the bar on 90 minutes.

Celtic now have another friendly against LSK Linz on Tuesday at 6pm GMT.

Celtic: Zaluska; Lustig, van Dijk, Mulgrew, F. Twardzik; Brown, Johansen, Commons; McGeouch, Stokes, Boerrigter.

 

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