The young kids done us proud and for large parts of the game showed well against a strong GALATASARAY team….The wee trip to turkey will have refreshed and recharged the batteries of the rest of the squad ,and on the return they should be ready for the visit of motherwell…
Special Mention should go to liam henderson who was a standout for the club ,if these are the kind of players in the development squad then the future is very bright,celtic also feilded the 16 yr old calvin miller late on to make his debut…
there can be no better experience for these kids playing in a tournament with celtic against these sort of teams,the dublin decider earlier in the season olso saw some of the youths getting a game…neil lennon im sure will have been happy to run the rule over some of the up and coming stars …the celts now travel back to scotland to see if they can maintain there run in the scottish premiership…
Turkish Airlines Antalya Cup
Antalya Akdeniz Universitesi Stadi
Sunday, January 12, 2014
Galatasaray win 5-4 on penalties
A YOUNG Celtic side emerged with great credit after being defeated 5-4 by Galatasaray on penalty kicks in the final of the Turkish Airlines Antalya Cup.
While the prizes went to the Turkish champions, the plaudits belonged to the Bhoys, who belied their tender years to more than match their star-studded opponents in intimidating surroundings, holding them to a goal-less draw in normal time.
And it was another positive to emerge from the mid-season trip for Neil Lennon´s men who will now return to Scotland on a high to resume their domestic campaign.
As expected, the manager rang the changes from the team that triumphed against Trabzonspor as a number of Development Squad players were handed an opportunity to impress.
Four of the Under-17s who were in Antalya for their own winter training camp were also drafted into the squad and took their place on the bench.
Despite their youthful composition, the Scottish champions made a bright start and they had the ball in the net in the fifth minute through Teemu Pukki after a nice piece of interplay between him and Amido Balde. It was a fine finish from the Finn but it was ruled out for offside.
Backed by a boisterous support which had crammed into the Akdeniz Universitesi Stadi, Roberto Mancini´s side mounted a swift response, with Noureddin Amrabat´s stinging shot bringing out a superb save from Lukasz Zaluska.
The forward was proving one of the main menaces for the Istanbul outfit and Marcus Fraser, playing his first game in almost a year, had to make a timely clearance when he crossed from the byline.
Former Arsenal full-back Emmanuel Eboue blazed over and Amrabat forced Zaluska into action again as Galatasaray applied some concerted pressure.
But through the thrusting runs of Forrest, in particular, the Hoops remained a threat and after the half-hour mark they fashioned a number of excellent chances.
After Amido Balde was felled on the edge of the box by Dany Nounkue, which earned the defender a booking, Derk Boerrigter curled the resultant free-kick over.
The Dutchman then turned provider, darting down the left and sending in an inviting cross which Pukki narrowly missed.
And the striker, who had opened the scoring against Trabzonspor on Thursday night, had an even better opportunity 60 seconds later as the impressive Nir Biton played him in but Eray Iscan was equal to his lofted effort.
Liam Henderson´s wonderfully-weighted pass over the top sent Forrest scampering clear down the right. He picked out Boerrigter at the far post but the winger couldn’t convert on the stretch.
Some hesitant defending presented Aydin Yilmaz with a sight of goal but he was unable to profit thanks to last-gasp challenge from John Herron, filling in the unfamiliar role of right-back.
But as half-time approached Forrest served notice of his threat once again as he danced beyond five challenges before pulling the trigger but Iscan gathered his low effort comfortably.
Galatasaray changed their entire side at the interval, introducing several of their established stars including Dutch playmaker Wesley Sneijder.
And the classy midfielder was soon at the centre of proceedings, prompting several dangerous forward raids for his side. In their first attack after the restart, Umut Bulut was denied by Zaluska and Burak Yilmaz was unable to finish off the rebound.
A youthful Celtic side were still holding their own, though, and Biton showed his confidence with an ambitious chip from the halway line that landed on the top of the net.
Emre Colak and Selcuk Inan had further efforts for the Turkish outfit before Liam Henderson bought out a save from the goalkeeper with a shot from distance.
Sneijder collected a return pass from Bulut but couldn’t hit the target and Inan saw his chip saved by Zaluska as Mancin´s men tried to up the tempo.
Frustrated at their inability to break the Bhoys´ resistance, tempers frayed among some of the Galatasaray players and Emre Colak appeared to throw a punch at Boerrigter.
In the confusion that followed, Celtic played on and Forrest put Balde in the clear but the hitman was unable to keep his shot down.
As the clock ticked down, Calvin Miller, who has turned 16 just three days earlier, was handed his senior bow, replacing Boerrigter, meaning that the Scottish champions ended the game with eight players who have played for the Celtic Youth Academy.
Despite a late scare when Hakan Balta saw a shot deflected wide, the young Hoops held on, sending the match to the shootout.
Henderson, Biton, Bahrudin Atajic and Balde were successful from the spot but James Forrest´s effort was saved to give the partisan crowd something to celebrate.
CELTIC (4-4-2) Zaluska; Herron, O´Connell, Fraser (Chalmers 63), Fisher; Forrest, Henderson, Biton, Boerrigter (Miller 83); Pukki (Atajic 63), Balde
Not Used: Fasan, Breslin, McLaren, Caird
GALATASARAY (4-3-3) Iscan (Muslera 46), Eboue (Kaya 46), Gulselam (Melo 46), Nounku (Balta 46) Can Coskun (Riera 32); Hajrovic (Sneijder 46), Kurtulus (Inan 46), Coskun (Colak 46); Gokoglan (Bruma 46), Amrabat (Bulut 46), Aydin Yilmaz (Burak Yilmaz 46)
Website Man of the Match: Liam Henderson