Celtic’s Under 20s produced a stirring performance that came so close to beating Bayern Munich, but ultimately succumbed to a 2-1 defeat at Cappielow.
Jack Aitchison had seized on a loose ball inside the Munich penalty area to fire the young Celts 1-0 in front, but a terrific late double from wonder-kid Oliver Batista-Meier turned the game around for the Bavarians.
The Hoops produced a spirited performance in Munich despite a 6-2 defeat at the Bayern Campus, and they once again started brightly in this one.
They were eager to play out from the back early on, similarly to Celtic’s first-team, and they were confident in this approach. Young Calvin Miller saw a lot of the ball early on, and despite being under pressure from a high Bayern press, the hosts kept their composure in their defensive third.
Ewan Henderson was so impressive two weeks ago in Munich, and he bombed Celtic forward with purpose at times in Cappielow. He forced Ron Hofmann into his first save with a stinging effort from 20 yards out that was well held.
Miller then came close when he collected a Johnston cross at the back post, but his toe poke towards goal was deflected wide for a corner.
It took Bayern 25 minutes to have a meaningful effort at goal, and even then it was from a set-piece. A free-kick was crossed into the area for Felix Gotze to power a header on goal, but Ryan Mullen parried well before gathering.
Celtic’s best bet of a goal still looked from Mikey Johnston. The left-winger has been lauded for his performances in the UEFA Youth League, and had appeared twice for the senior side. He was giving Josip Stanisic a torrid time, but the final ball just wasn’t there.
Another who impressed in the first half was Regan Hendry. His driving runs cause Bayern’s back-line all sorts of problems, and drew a bunch of fouls down the right that led to set-piece chances.
Aitchison and Kerr McInroy both had efforts before the break, but neither troubled Hofmann as Bayern held on until the break.