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Hapoel comeback catches out Celtic

Hapoel Tel-Aviv 2-1 Celtic FC
Nemanja Vučićević cancelled out Georgios Samaras's first-half opener before Maaran Lala hit a late winner for the Israeli side.

Hapoel comeback catches out Celtic
Hapoel comeback catches out Celtic ©UEFA.com

Two goals in the last 15 minutes saw Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC come from behind for a memorable UEFA Europa League Group C defeat of Celtic FC.

Celtic led at the break through Georgios Samaras but Hapoel's habit of scoring late goals in this competition continued. Nemanja Vučićević levelled with a quarter of an hour to go and Maaran Lala struck the winner with two minutes left.

Celtic ahead
Samaras went close in the 12th minute, forcing Hapoel goalkeeper Vincent Enyeama to tip his header onto the crossbar. A minute later, Vučićević was denied at the other end by Artur Boruc, who got his feet in the way after the Serbian midfielder skipped past a defender and shot from close range. Celtic were ahead on 25 minutes, Samaras running through the Hapoel defence on to Gary Caldwell's long pass and sending a low drive past Enyeama.

Hapoel push
Hapoel began the second half brightly and Boruc was made to save by Gil Vermouth four minutes in. Celtic were being pushed further and further back, and were not helped when Samaras was forced out by a freak 70th-minute injury after colliding with his own dug-out in trying to keep the ball in play.

The Israeli side's pressure told five minutes later, Vermouth releasing Samuel Yeboah, whose cross was parried by Boruc into the path of Vučićević, who sent his shot into the roof of the net. Now Hapoel poured forward in search of a winner, with Vermouth tearing through the Celtic midfield, and as time began to run out he teed up substitute Lala to ghost into the area and beat Boruc at his near post. Hapoel will hope to keep up their momentum in a fortnight at Hambuger SV, who were beaten 3-0 by Celtic's Matchday 2 visitors SK Rapid Wien.