The Sydney Super Cup return of Ange Postecoglou’s team didn’t go as planned, as they lost their first friendly game overseas.
Regardless of whether it was due to jet lag or plain old wastefulness, Celtic consistently failed to capitalise on their possession, making them look slow in front of goal.
They dominated in all statistical categories besides the final score, having 65% of the ball, but keeper Thomas Heward-outstanding Belle’s performance left them completely baffled.
The game’s first goal came from the Scottish champions when Alexandro Bernabei’s shot deflected in off Kyogo’s chest, but it was quickly answered by Robert Mak, who had earlier hit the crossbar.
Jota, Reo Hatate, and Sead Haksabanovic were among the numerous Celtic substitutions made at halftime, and Sydney had little possession of the ball for the next 20 minutes.
But all it takes to win a game is one excellent play from them. Max Burgess came in from the right and curled one beautifully into the far corner but was given too much room on his left foot.
While the home team was generally held at bay, they did play some lovely passages to fend off the Celtic press and release some tension.
One sequence shortly after the winning goal saw them cut through Haksabanovic, Anthony Ralston and Matt O’Riley like a hot knife through butter to emerge from their own corner flag on the counter-attack.
2-1 it ended and Celtic now turn their attentions to Everton at the weekend.
Ange Postecoglou told his players, “I’m no violin player,” but he insisted there are no justifications for the calibre of Celtic’s performance.
The trip to Australia began with a disappointing loss to Syndey FC, with some commentators attributing the defeat to jet lag.
After the full-time whistle, Postecoglou wasn’t having any of it.