FC Dinamo Moskva took a major step towards a first appearance in the UEFA Champions League by beating Celtic FC 1-0 in the first leg of their third qualifying round tie in Glasgow.
Celtic could find no answer to Alexander Kokorin's seventh-minute strike, Dinamo's No99 turning the ball past Artur Boruc from Aleksandr Kerzhakov's cross from the left. It marked the worst possible start for the Scottish side, playing their first competitive match under new manager Tony Mowbray. Dinamo – understandably sharper after 15 games of the Russian Premier-Liga season – threatened again after 14 minutes when Kirill Kombarov volleyed wide from twin brother Dmitry's cross.
There were further chances at both ends before the break, not least for Celtic striker Marc-Antoine Fortuné, making his debut for the Glasgow club. The Frenchman had several opportunities, notably when he failed to turn in a Shaun Maloney ball at the far post with the goal beckoning.
Celtic almost drew level within moments of the restart when Scott McDonald headed a Maloney cross past the goalkeeper only for Denis Kolodin to clear off the line.
Mountain to climb
Mowbray's men continued to push, but to no avail and the fact they have not won a single away game in Europe since August 2003 – a 4-0 success at MTK Budapest at this same stage of the competition – leaves them with a mountain-sized task in Moscow next Wednesday. Celtic have not missed out on the group stage since 2005/06 but Andrei Kobelev's Dinamo must now fancy their chances of advancing to the play-off round, particularly after substitute Georgios Samaras headed straight into the arms of goalkeeper Vladimir Gabulov from close range with four minutes to play.