CELTIC rounded off their Austrian tour with a goalless friendly against Dukla Prague in Freistadt, maintaining Ronny Deila’s undefeated streak as manager.
Following a 3-1 victory over FK Krasnodar, a 1-1 draw with Rapid Vienna and 5-2 win over LASK Linz, Deila’s side were unable to find the net in their fourth and final game of their tour.
England goalkeeper Fraser Forster and Honduras left-back Emilio Izaguirre started their first games since travelling back from the World Cup finals in Brazil as a strong side continued preparations for the club’s opening Champions League qualifier against KR Reykjavik on Tuesday in Iceland.
Teenager Eoghan O’Connell partnered Virgil van Dijk in central defence, while Charlie Mulgrew was handed a central midfield role. Anthony Stokes led the attack with Derk Boerrigter, Kris Commons and Stefan Johansen in support.
Stokes went close twice in the first half, striking over the bar before hitting an effort straight at Dukla goalkeeper Filip Rada, while Michael Krmencik spurned several chances for the Czechs.
First, the striker blasted wide before he saw another shot thwarted by Forster. Krmencik then flicked an effort beyond the far post after the Celtic ’keeper had narrowed the angle.
Tony Watt made his first appearance of pre-season as a 78th-minute substitute following his loan spell in Belgium last term. As Celtic began to turn up the pressure, Stokes tested Rada, who then made smart saves from Van Dijk’s long-range shot and Izaguirre’s late effort. Commons almost snatched victory for the Scottish champions but his drive was deflected wide as the game ended goalless.
Celtic: Forster; Matthews, Van Dijk, O’Connell, Izaguirre; Boerrigter (McGregor 70), Mulgrew, Kayal (Biton 70), Johansen; Commons, Stokes (Watt 78). Subs Not Used: Zaluska, Fasan, Lustig, Fisher, Waters, Findlay, F. Twardzik, Henderson, McGeouch, Forrest, Fridjonsson, Pukki, Balde, Watt, Griffiths, Atajic.