Craig Gordon upbeat on Celtic in Europa League

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CRAIG Gordon remains confident of qualification despite Celtic’s hopes of a place in the Europa League knock-out stages being put on hold by Astra Giurgiu.

The former first-choice Scotland goalkeeper was again in good form on a big European night with a string of fine saves, before he was left helpless by William Amorim’s late leveller for Astra in Romania.

Craig Gordon attracts some attention as the squad returned to Glasgow Airport. Picture: SNS

Craig Gordon attracts some attention as the squad returned to Glasgow Airport. Picture: SNS

A win on Thursday night would have secured qualification from Group D, but Ronny Deila’s side must now seek a victory over Salzburg on 27 November at Parkhead to reach the last 32.

Gordon, who only returned to playing professional football this season after a long spell in the wilderness following an injury at Sunderland, said: “We still got a point and we have to remain positive. Now we have to win the next one to get through. It’s still a good position to be in.”

The goalkeeper made an especially fine irst-half save to deny Seidu Yahaya as the Celtic went in at the break leading through a Stefan Johansen volley.

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Gordon, who cost Sunderland £9 million when he moved south from Hearts, had also excelled in the 2-2 draw with Salzburg in Austria in the first game in September.

Salzburg routed Dinamo Zagreb 5-1 on Thursday to make certain of their place in the next stage of the competition.

Astra’s Syam Ben Youssef, meanwhile, felt that despite Gordon’s defiance that his side had merited a share of the spoils.

Still aggrieved that Astra went down to a narrow defeat at Celtic Park, he said: “A point each was a fair result. We believed that we deserved at least that in Glasgow, maybe more. We had several chances in Scotland that we didn’t take and ended up losing.”

Goal hero Amorim added: “It was a dream for me to score like that on such a big stage. I think we can now go and get a win in our last games in the group.”

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