CELTIC suffered a 1-0 defeat against Ukrainian side Sevastopol in the first game of their pre-season tour of Germany last night.
Manager Neil Lennon fielded a fairly strong team in the Bavarian town of Fuerstenfeldbruk,
New recruits Virgil Van Dijk and Amido Balde both started. French trialist Steven Mouyokolo, a former Wolves player, was also named in the starting XI alongside youngster Liam Henderson. Former Hearts winger Saulius Mikoliunas started for the Ukrainian side.
Celtic started the stronger of the two sides, with Charlie Mulgrew, captain for the night in the absence of Scott Brown, setting up Mouyokolo whose effort went wide of goal.
Balde then shot over the bar on the 16th minute after being set up by Henderson.
Celtic survived a scare when Sevastopol hit the post before goalkeeper Fraser Forster had to act smartly to deny Denys Kozhanov.
Celtic made two changes at the interval, with Kelvin Wilson replacing Virgil and Gary Hooper coming on for Tony Watt. Balde had the first chance of the second half when he went clean through on the Sevastopol goakkeeper, Konstyantyn Makhnovskyy, but he was denied his debut goal before Wilson’s effort from the rebound was cleared off the line.
Sevastopol, who had been playing second fiddle to the Scottish champions, took the lead just after the hour mark when Kostiantyn Iaroshenko curled home a free kick from the edge of the box.
Celtic brought young Calum Waters on for his first top-team outing, along with Paul George and Bahrudin Atajic, but they were unable to find an equaliser.
Meanwhile, BBC Scotland & Northern Ireland have secured the live rights to Celtic’s Champions League qualifier against Cliftonville in Northern Ireland later this month.
The broadcasters will bring the game to audiences on BBC Two Scotland, BBC Radio Scotland, bbc.co.uk/sportscotland, BBC Two NI and BBC Radio Ulster.
The rights are for the first leg of the qualifying round tie between the two teams at Cliftonville’s ground, Solitude.
The game will be screened on BBC Two Scotland at 7.45pm on Wednesday 17 July.