Celtic will take a slender lead to Finland in their attempts to reach the Champions League group stage, following a 2-1 win over HJK Helsinki at Celtic Park.
Second half goals from Gary Hooper and Charlie Mulgrew overturned a surprise opener from former Hearts striker Juho Makela, meaning the Parkhead side will head to Helsinki for the second leg of their third round qualifier next week with the tie finely poised.
In what was a surreal build-up to kick-off, thousands of fans cheered on Team GB's swimming star and Celtic supporter, Michael Jamieson in the men's 200m breaststroke final at the Olympics, with his silver medal performance shown live to those inside Celtic Park.
Celtic started off positively with Hooper coming close within the opening minute, slicing his shot high into the side netting from a tight angle.
The home side continued to dominate possession and after 13 minutes James Forrest saw a glancing header from an in-swinging Georgios Samaras cross go just past the post. The winger appealed for a penalty on the grounds of a push from HJK defender Timi Lahti but referee Miroslav Zelinka dismissed his claims.
Forrest was providing a constant outlet for Celtic on the right wing and was the architect of a move that almost saw Celtic take the lead seconds later. Tricky play from the 21-year-old took him past full back Mikko Sumusalo and into the box where he centred for Hooper in space inside the area. His miscued shot fell to Joe Ledley but his attempt on the half volley trickles tamely past the post.
However, Ledley did force the opposition keeper, Ville Wallen into a smart save low down shortly after, taking Victor Wanyama's knock down from a long ball on the chest and striking at goal on the volley.
But as the first half progressed the Finnish league champions began to fall into their stride and Gambian speedster, Demba Savage forced Adam Matthews into a last gasp sliding clearance after a deep cross from Sebastien Mannstrom put him in on Fraser Forster's goal.
Just three minutes after the restart HJK took a surprise lead. Mannstrom found space on the right and threaded an excellent ball into Makela whose initial shot was saved by Forster's legs. But Wanyama failed to clear the rebound and Makela made the most of it, squeezing his second attempt in at the near post from a tight angle.
Celtic looked to respond immediately and after some clever play from Scott Brown, Kris Commons saw a low drive from 20 yards smash off the post, with HJK keeper, Wallen fortunate to see the rebound, which struck his back, stay out of the net.
But the home side did find an equaliser after 53 minutes, with Samaras firing a low pass across the face of goal, behind HJK centre back Lahti, for Hooper to finish at the back post.
With the pressure building on the visitors' goal Celtic soon took the lead, with Mulgrew's downward header finding the net from Commons' corner.
And Mulgrew almost grabbed a second, fizzing a right footed shot from 25 yards just past the post.
As Celtic looked to increase their lead Neil Lennon introduced Anthony Stokes into the game and soon the Republic of Ireland international was involved, setting up Brown on the edge for a low drive that was tipped round the post.
The home side continued to press, with Paddy McCourt and Thomas Lustig replacing Hooper and Samaras, but Celtic were made to settle for a one goal lead as they head to Helsinki for the second leg next week.
Goal scorers: Celtic (Hooper - 53 mins, Mulgrew - 60 mins). HJK (Makela - 47 mins)
Celtic: Forster, Matthews, Wanyama, Mulgrew, Izaguirre, Forrest, Brown, Ledley, Samaras (McCourt), Commons (Stokes), Hooper (Lustig). Subs: Zaluska, Kayal, Rogne, Twardzik.
HJK Helsinki: Wallen, Lahti, Mannstrom, Lindstrom, Vayrynen (Okokonen), Makela (Sadik), Sumusalo, Perovuo, Savage, Sorsa, Schuller (Pohjanpalo). Subs: Sahlgren, Kansikas, Hakanpaa, Pelvas.
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