Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou praised his side for their resilience as they progressed to the Europa League group stage after a testing night against AZ Alkmaar.
The Scottish side had travelled with a 2-0 first-leg lead and enjoyed the perfect start in the Netherlands as Kyogo Furuhashi put Celtic ahead after two minutes.
The comfortable cushion didn’t last though, as Joe Hart hesitated and was robbed of the ball to let AZ make it 1-1 on the night. Things went from bad to worse after 26 minutes when Carl Starfelt somehow turned a cross into his own net despite being under no pressure from the opposition.
Celtic were rocked by the mistakes that made their lead suddenly precarious, but saw out the first half and then improved after the break to make it to the group stages.
Postecoglou shrugged off the individual lapses, preferring to look at how the collective responded to adversity.
He said: “We made two pretty terrible errors but that’s what happens when you’re dealing with human beings, they’re going to make mistakes. What was more important for us is how we reacted.
“We lost our way a little bit in the first half and they got some momentum, because we started the game well. Obviously giving them two goals set us back but the second half we dug in when we had to.
“Joe, who was disappointed with the first-half mistake, made a couple of outstanding saves and Carl defended really strongly in the second half.
“I thought we were a little bit more composed than we were in the first half.
“It was a different type of performance but it’s great that we showed that resilience.”
The manager, who said it was “hugely important” that his side got through after their Champions League disappointment, now turns his attention to the Old Firm game at Ibrox on Sunday, and he may have injury concerns to deal with before the derby. Greg Taylor was substituted off with a shuolder injury, while Kyogo Furuhashi took a knock.
“It’s too early to tell about Greg,” he said.
“I thought Adam Montgomery was outstanding, coming on, a young player, knowing we would have to defend a fair bit.
“Kyogo got a bit of a knock and the rest of them put in a shift so it’s going to be all about recovery for the next 24-48 hours and then we will see how everybody is.”
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