Scott McDonald was delighted to score his first UEFA Champions League goal and get Celtic FC off the mark in Group D following their last-gasp 2-1 win over holders AC Milan.
The game at a rain-lashed Celtic Park looked to be heading for a stalemate after Kaká's 68th-minute penalty had cancelled out Stephen McManus's opener, but the Australia striker had the last word popping up in the final minute to prod the ball over the line after Dida could only parry Gary Caldwell's shot. "It's a great feeling to have scored the winner and it's the most important goal of my career so far," McDonald told uefa.com. "We were disappointed to have conceded the penalty after going ahead, but the reaction from the players was fantastic. As the game went on we had more belief we could go on and get another goal and to get it in the final minute was something special."
According to McDonald the victory – Celtic's first against Milan – was just reward for the positive substitutions made by manager Gordon Strachan with Chris Killen and Shunsuke Nakamura both playing a prominent role in the build up to the winning goal. "The gaffer was pretty positive and sent on Chris and Shunsuke towards the end so it was clear we wanted to win all three points," McDonald added. "We know the games at home are vital to us and we always want to win every game. We could have settled for a draw but we went out for the win and thankfully it came off."
Villain to hero
The 24-year-old has settled quickly with his boyhood favourites following his €1m move from Motherwell FC this summer. McDonald's goal against the Rossoneri was his seventh of the season, silencing those who doubted whether the diminutive striker could play at the highest level and he now hopes to have won over the Celtic fans who cursed him a few years ago when his brace of goals on the final day of the 2004/05 season sent the Scottish Premier League title to rivals Rangers FC.
"I'm a pretty confident guy – I just take it my stride and go out there and try and enjoy each game," he continued. "There were far more illustrious players out there in Milan shirts but we're all human beings and on any given day anything can happen. Luckily for us it went our way on this occasion and hopefully this goal will also make the Celtic fans forgive me for scoring those goals against them two years ago."
Having got their first points on the board, McDonald hopes the victory over Milan will act as a springboard for the next game away to SL Benfica on 24 October when Celtic will once again try to secure their first away win. "We have given ourselves a massive platform and hopefully we can build on that," he said. "As everyone knows our away record is not the best, so it would be nice to go over there and get three points. We will take a lot of confidence from that game and one of these days we will win away from home."
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