Celtic FC withheld concerted second-half pressure to claim a tenacious draw at Hamburger SV, though a point does little for their faltering Group C aspirations.
The first half was a real end-to-end affair, with chances aplenty. Scott McDonald was twice foiled by Hamburg keeper Frank Rost, while Marcell Jansen in particular threatened the visitors' goal on several occasions. Hamburg were the only side in it after the restart, yet could not find a way through the Hoops defence as they slipped behind Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC in the UEFA Europa League section.
Hamburg forced three corners in the opening 180 seconds, and Marcus Berg brought a fine save from Łukasz Załuska with a low drive, but having picked up a point in their opening three games, Celtic knew they had to attack – and they did. Barry Robson's curling effort was deflected over and Rost brilliantly parried McDonald's low effort. HSV replied in kind, Załuska once again getting down to keep out Jansen's diagonal drive, but back the pendulum swung as Rost denied McDonald for a second time, from close range, after Aiden McGeady had sent him clear.
The Bundesliga side stepped up the tempo a notch after half-time, Joris Mathijsen heading a Dennis Aogo free-kick on to the top of the bar minutes after the restart. Załuska then pushed Eljero Elia's shot wide as the hosts cranked up the heat, and the winger fired narrowly wide just before the hour mark. Celtic did retort, but Georgios Samaras fired weakly at Rost when clean through. Despite further pressure from HSV, Tony Mowbray's side held on for a point that at least leaves the door to the knockout rounds ajar – if only ever so slightly.