Celtic FC 1-1 FC Spartak Moskva
(agg: 2-2, Celtic win 4-3 on penalties)
Artur Boruc was the hero for the Scottish champions.
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Artur Boruc was the hero for Celtic FC as he saved from FC Spartak Moskva's Maxym Kalynychenko at the end of the penalty shoot-out to take the Scottish title-holders into the UEFA Champions League group stage.
In normal time Scott McDonald put the Scottish champions ahead with his first goal for the club after Roman Pavlyuchenko had missed a penalty, but the Russian striker equalised on the stroke of half-time to match the first-leg result in Moscow. Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink struck an extra-time spot-kick against the crossbar, but he was among the scorers in the shoot-out before Boruc denied Kalynychenko to ensure victory.
Both sides set out with adventurous 4-4-2 formations and the first clear cut opportunity fell to McDonald on 15 minutes; sent through on goal by Vennegoor of Hesselink, the Australian screwed his shot wide. Almost immediately Vladimir Bystrov broke and cut back invitingly for the onrushing Dmitri Torbinskiy only for Lee Naylor to clear off the line. Gary Caldwell inadvertently handled in the Celtic box on 26 minutes but although Pavlyuchenko sent Boruc the wrong way, his spot-kick bounced back off the post.
It proved to be a costly miss as Celtic took the lead a minute later, Roman Shishkin slicing his clearance allowing McDonald to steer the ball past Stipe Pletikosa from eight metres. Right on the stroke of half-time Pavlyuchenko made amends for his earlier penalty miss, chesting down a corner at the far post before driving in the equaliser. Spartak began the second half strongly but failed to create any clear openings and instead the Scottish champions surged forward. Shunsuke Nakamura passed up three chances before Spartak defender Martin Stranzl was sent off in the 84th minute after denying Vennegoor of Hesselink a goalscoring opportunity.
Substitute Kalynychenko almost won it in the second period of extra-time only to be denied by Boruc before Vennegoor of Hesselink struck his spot-kick against the bar with five minutes left to play after Radoslav Kováč handled. Boruc, however, came to his rescue in the shoot-out as he saved from Yegor Titov and Kalynychenko after Nakamura had missed for Celtic to ensure the Scottish champions, who lost to AC Milan in the first knockout round last season, would return to the UEFA Champions League.