FRASER FORSTER revealed he acted on “gut instinct” as he made the superb penalty-kick save 12 minutes from time that helped Celtic earn a 1-1 draw with FC Copenhagen last night.
After dominating most of the first-half in the first leg of the Europa League last-32 encounter in the Danish capital and leading through an Odsonne Edouard goal at the interval, the Hoops came under the cosh in the second-half.
Forster was left helpless when veteran striker Dame N’Doye, who is 35 today, was presented with a great opportunity following some sloppy play from Olivier Ntcham seven minutes after the turnaround.
So, with the clock ticking down, it was absolutely crucial the Danes did not take a lead to Glasgow for the return leg on Thursday.
However, the Russian referee Sergie Karasev, after the intervention of VAR, awarded the home side a late penalty-kick and booked the unfortunate Ryan Christie for handball, a yellow card that will see him sidelines for the second match.
However, Forster came to the rescue with a stunning full-length save from Jens Stage’s well-hit spot-kick.
CRASH…Jens Stage slams the penalty-kick low to Fraser Forster’s right.
BANG…the keeper reacts brilliantly to get a hand to the ball.
WALLOP…the effort smacks off the foot of the upright and bounces to safety.
Proving to be a master of the understatement, the modest Englishman told the Evening Times: “It could be a big save. It’s always nice to contribute and makes saves. Luckily, I guess right and it stayed out. It’s all set up for next week now.
“I knew I got a good touch on it, but I was waiting to see where it went. Thankfully, the lads cleared it.
“I was just going on a gut feeling and it worked out well. I’ll take it.
“Every penalty-taker is different, so you can only do so much to practise. I just wait and see and then hope to go the right way.
“I don’t really keep tabs on how many I’ve saved. Sometimes you go through spells when you seem to save a few, but there are times when you don’t, as well.
“It’s just nice at the minute I seem to be making a few saves, but it’s just good to contribute to the team.”
Forster continued: “It was a strange game. We created a few good chances and on another day could have scored two or three in the first-half.
“The second-half was a completely different game. They came out stronger and we never got going again, so ended up defending for most of the half.
“We walked off a little disappointed, but it was still a good result away from home. The away goal is obviously massive.”
Forster added: “These big European nights are a fantastic part of being at Celtic. Not many players actually get to play in European games, so it’s nice to be involved in them.
“We’ve done well to progress from the group – now we want to go as far as we can.”