The second leg of this UEFA Youth League tie was certainly not a match for connoisseurs and it ended in a tepid 1-1 draw, the contest effectively ending when Celtic went to Helsinki and came away with a 0-5 victory.
This may, or may not, have had a bearing on a game that was played everywhere but in the penalty areas, and it didn’t look like either side would score for long periods of the match. Nesbitt managed to get a lead for Celtic on the hour, along with his three from the first leg but Antti Ulmanen got an even more unexpected equaliser with five minutes left on the clock.
The young Celts started the match well, passing the ball across the back and moving it down the flanks. Theo Archibald probed the Helsinki defence with a cross into the six yard box for Aidan Nesbitt, but a HJK defender got to the ball first and cleared for a Celtic corner.
As the ten minute mark approached, Helsinki looked off the pace and hadn’t shown any signs of troubling the Celtic defence. Celtic raced up field and won themselves a free kick close to the corner flag, Nesbitt struck the free kick into near post but Fiacre Kelleher headed over the cross bar from ten yards.
Helsinki showed their first signs of life when the ball was played forward to Karim Zine, he took a touch and shot from about eight yards but Mark Hill threw his body towards the ball, blocking for a corner kick.
Helsinki rapidly broke forward in numbers, Lassi Lappalainen ran wide before cutting back in and passing to Sebastian Dahlstrom who then sent his shot clear of the cross bar. The Finns then won a corner that Lucas Lingman played out toward the eighteen yard line, Roni Peiponen stormed in and awkwardly sent wide off the near post.
Celtic finished the half well but unfortunately couldn’t make any of their chances count. Thomson made a run and passed wide to McIlduff, Thomson continued with his run into the penalty area and McIlduff sent the ball toward him, but he headed over the crossbar from twelve yards.
With a couple of minutes left, Archibald attempted a twenty five yard shot on the Helsinki goal that took a deflection off Obed Malolo and out for corner. Then Celtic won a free kick just outside the penalty area, but Aidan Nesbitt shot over the crossbar.