Celtic FC ended their long, long wait for an away win in Europe as goals from Scott McDonald and substitute Georgios Samaras earned them a 2-0 success at FC Dinamo Moskva and, with it, a place in the UEFA Champions League play-off round.
The odds appeared stacked against a Celtic side who trailed 1-0 from the first leg in Glasgow and were without an away win in Europe for six years – a total of 22 matches. An awkward evening appeared in the offing at the Arena Khimki when Dinamo made an encouraging start with Aleksandr Kerzakhov carrying the game to the visitors with some lively front-running. When Dinamo's Russia forward did get the space to get in a shot after nine minutes, though, he failed to find either the power or placement to trouble Artur Boruc.
As the first period progressed, Tony Mowbray's men began to control possession and after Landry Nguemo had shot straight at Vladimir Gabulov from the edge of the box, they made the breakthrough a minute before the break. Full-back Andreas Hinkel delivered a perfectly placed cross to the far post and Scott McDonald's firm downward header found the bottom corner. Dinamo almost produced an immediate riposte but Hinkel cleared Dmitri Khoklov's shot off the line.
Hinkel came to the rescue again early in the second half to keep out Kirill Kombarov's goalbound header with Boruc beaten. Dmitry Kombarov and McDonald both flashed efforts narrowly wide as the game opened up but, as the clock ticked down, it was Celtic who looked more likely to go on and win the tie. Shaun Maloney's quick feet carried him through on goal but he shot straight at Gabulov. The decisive second goal finally came in added time, when Samaras collected a high ball, cut across the penalty box and slid a shot low across Gabulov and into the bottom corner. Some way to score his first European goal for Celtic.