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Celtic let lead slip at Maribor

NK Maribor 1-1 Celtic FC
Callum McGregor's early goal was swiftly cancelled out by Damjan Bohar as Celtic were denied victory in Slovenia.

Callum McGregor claimed an away goal
Callum McGregor claimed an away goal ©Getty Images

• Celtic FC start strongly with an early goal by Callum McGregor
• NK Maribor respond quickly through Damjan Bohar
• Virgil van Dijk header blocked on the line by team-mate Stefan Johansen  
• Both teams create chances, both goalkeepers stand strong
• Return leg next Tuesday in Glasgow 

Celtic let an early lead slip but will feel they have the upper hand in this UEFA Champions League play-off after a 1-1 first-leg draw at Maribor.

In only the sixth minute, Johansen's long ball found Jo Inge Berget in the Maribor box. Jasmin Handanovič managed to save his close-range effort, only for McGregor to pounce on the rebound and put the Scottish champions ahead

The Violets responded in the 14th minute, though, after a precise pass by Željko Filipović landed at Tavares's feet. Maribor's Brazilian captain was fouled, but advantage was played and Bohar tucked the ball past Craig Gordon from 11 metres.

Soon Celtic regained control of proceedings and the Slovenian hosts were struggling to keep out their crosses. Filipović had to clear the ball off the line from Charlie Mulgrew's header, then Johansen shot over the bar and in the 31st minute unintentionally blocked Van Dijk's header with Handanović beaten.

Maribor sought to respond on the counter and with four minutes left in the half Agim Ibraimi's strike was deflected by Gordon and Dare Vršič put the follow-up over. After the interval Maribor had more of the ball and Gordon was tested by Ibraimi's partially blocked attempt.

Celtic picked up the pace eventually, with Anthony Stokes firing just past the post in the 65th minute. Next Johansen sprinted past Marko Šuler, only for Handanović to push the ball from under his feet. Seconds later Van Dijk let fly from 20 metres, testing Handanović to the limit, though it was Maribor who finished on the front foot.