CRAIG GORDON has admitted he was massively relieved to discover his goalkeeping clanger did not send Celtic toppling out of Europe.
The Scotland international presented RB Salzburg with their second goal in their crucial final Europa League Group B encounter at a packed Parkhead, as CQN reported last night.
Brendan Rodgers’ men were already a goal adrift through Munas Dabbur’s 67th-minute header, RB Leipzig were 1-0 up on Rosenborg in Germany and it looked all over when the impressive Austrians latched on to Gordon’s lapse to double their advantage.
The shotstopper was left embarrassed when Salzburg substitute Fredrik Gulbrandsen intercepted his throw-out before sliding the ball into an empty net to silence the home fans.
Gordon admitted: “It doesn’t happen very often that a striker presses the keeper’s distribution from hand like that, so it’s something you don’t expect.
“I was trying to get on with things quickly as we were chasing the game at the time. He read the throw and managed to get the block. You could also say it’s good striker play.
“It’s ended up in the net and that was the second goal and I could beat myself up about it all night, but the main thing was that we got through.”
Gordon and his team-mates had a good idea something had happened in Leipzig when the ground erupted after news filtered through Tore Reginiussen had equalised for the rock-bottom Norwegians in the 86th minute.
Rosenborg snatched their only point from six group games to turn the evening on its head and open the door for the Hoops to reach the knock-out stages.
Gordon said: “I’m grateful for that and in terms of my performance I thought I was playing really well in the game.
“I had a number of saves to keep us in it until the first goal and then I made a few saves as we were going for the equaliser.
“It’s been one of those good things that happen and we will now move on to Monday’s draw.
“It’s just a feeling of huge relief that we’ve managed to get through in the end. I don’t think many people gave us a great chance of getting through, so I think it’s a great achievement to do that.
“We have progressed from a difficult group and over the piece we have deserved to do that.
“These type of crazy nights can happen time and again and we have seen things like that happen in bigger games than this.”
The 35-year-old keeper, who saw Olivier Ntcham score the team’s consolation goal in stoppage time, added: “Listen, we were wanting to do it ourselves, but we are very pleased.
“Over the whole group, we have managed to get there and that in itself is a great achievement.
“Salzburg are an excellent team and we all saw that in both games.
“They were excellent in the first-half and made it very difficult to get ourselves on the ball.
“Sometimes you have to hold up your hands and admit your facing a top quality side. That’s the level we need to compete at if we want to reach it.
“The aim was to get through this group and we’ve managed it. Nine points is still a great amount to get and we always thought we’d have to win all of our home games to progress.
“But that win in Rosenburg took us to nine points and we always felt 10 would be enough.
“A draw would have sealed it if we had done it ourselves, but, overall, with the performances we have put in and the telling factor of winning against Rosenburg when we had to come back from a goal down proved decisive in the end.
“We didn’t win the game, but feels like a great achievement getting through and we need to take that feeling into the Hibs game on Sunday.”