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Bhoys boss rues missed chances
Published : 03 Dec 2009 07:30:59
Goals midway through each half from Georgios Samaras and Barry Robson secured a 2-0 triumph over Hapoel Tel Aviv at Parkhead but the Israelis progressed with Hamburg after Rapid Vienna lost in Germany. The victory was only Celtic's second in nine European games under Mowbray and followed two defeats and two draws in their previous group games. But Mowbray felt the only difference in the performance tonight was their ability to take chances. He said: "It was a very similar performance to what we saw throughout the campaign - disciplined, organised. We took a few more opportunities tonight whereas in games gone by we have missed a few opportunities. "In every game we have played we have been very competitive. We talked about the fine margins in football. Barry Robson smashes home a free-kick and Samaras scored a great header. "In other games the keeper has made good saves and we've missed opportunities, put shots past the post. You have got to take chances, especially at this level, because they don't come around too often. "The frustration is that we haven't really got what we deserved from the campaign. We've been very competitive but there you go, the results are what they are and we have to get on with it." Mowbray rued their late collapse in Israel, when Celtic lost two late goals after leading 1-0 following a dominant first-half display. "We went to Tel Aviv and I think we were the better team for a long, long time and yet they ultimately deserved the victory," he said. "They played good football but never really threatened our goal until the last quarter of an hour. For whatever reason they scored two goals that night. "You can use all the excuses about the humidity and the heat but they are a good football side as they have proven throughout the rest of their games. "But, for a start, there is a game we potentially should have won and didn't and there have been missed opportunities throughout this campaign." But Mowbray added: "I watched them score eight goals against Rapid Vienna on DVD and they scored twice away in Hamburg. They are a good side." Hapoel boss Eli Guttman felt that opening match was the key moment in securing his side's qualification for the knockout stages. "We started as the underdog," he said. "If you were going to tell me we would qualify with Hamburg, it's a big surprise. I'm proud we did it. "The second 45 minutes in Tel Aviv was the main point. Celtic were leading 1-0 and we won, and that was the main point." Guttman added: "Celtic wholeheartedly deserved their win tonight. They played much more aggressively than we did and blocked off our key players very effectively, and they were very, very effective on the counter-attack."