Celtic U19s were defeated by an efficient RB Leipzig side in the UEFA Youth League. Goals from Simon Schierack and Ohene Köhl secured all three points for the German side at the Excelsior Stadium in Airdrie.
Celtic midfielder Mackenzie Carse was then shown a second yellow card for a late challenge on the stroke of half-time.
The result leaves the Hoops level on points with RB Leipzig in Group F behind Shakthar Donetsk and runaway leaders Real Madrid.
After winning 2-1 in the return fixture in Germany last week, Celtic looked to get on the front foot immediately and got the first chance of the match two minutes in. Benjamin Summers fired a shot from the edge of the box, but Timo Schlieck in goal was equal to it.
Leipzig’s first opportunity came just moments after when Tim Weber floated in a cross for Köhl, but his header was easily claimed by Celtic stopper Tobi Oluwayemi.
This was only a warning shot, however, as the visitors soon capitalised on a loose pass on the edge of the box and Simon Schierack curled a wonderful strike into the top-right corner, leaving the keeper with no chance.
Celtic looked for an instant reply, but Schlieck was again there to deny Rocco Vata’s effort from the right after an inch-perfect pass from Summers.
Leipzig then doubled their lead with less than a quarter of the game played. Some excellent interchange down their opponent’s left-hand side culminated in Köhl running onto a through ball and slotting between the legs of the onrushing Oluwayemi.
The man in the sticks for Celtic, who was keeping his side in the game throughout the 90 minutes, tipped Schierack’s shot over the bar to deny the midfielder a second goal.
The Hoops then had a chance to get back into the match at the half-hour mark, but Adam Brooks could not get the right connection on his header from a cross into the six-yard box.
The home side looked to half the deficit before the interval when Brooks’ strong hold-up play released Vata, but once more he was denied by a good stop from Schlieck.
Already on a yellow, Carse’s dismissal for a second bookable offence in added time of the first half left Celtic with an even more difficult situation in the second period. The midfielder’s late challenge forced referee Nathan Verboomen’s hand, and the team would play the remainder of the game with ten players.
The away side looked to end the contest early after the restart, but they often found the Celtic goalkeeper in their way, with Oluwayemi making a string of great saves from Köhl and Schierack.
Leipzig knew their first points of the competition were already in the bag and saw out the match with little threat from the depleted Celts who, to their credit, ensured that they came away with a respectable scoreline despite the ordering off.
Shakhtar come to Airdrie in a fortnight’s time in what is now a crucial match for Stephen McManus and Darren O’Dea’s side. Having lost to the Ukrainians away from home earlier in the group, Celtic U19s will look to battle it out for that second qualifying spot with Real Madrid sitting pretty at the top.
Celtic U19s Player of the Match: Toby Oluwayemi
Now a man down, Celtic knew they would be in for a siege, but they had Toby Oluwayemi to thank for keeping them in the match. In both halves, he performed admirably, but it was in the second 45 where he particularly shined, making several stunning saves.
RB Leipzig U19s Player of the Match: Simon Schierack
The midfielder set the ball rolling with an excellent strike in the early stages and could have had more goals if it wasn’t for the heroics of the Celtic goalkeeper. He was substituted late in the second half after a very astute and polished performance.
Celtic U19s Magic Moment:
Any joy the young Celts got from the match tended to involve Benjamin Summers, who linked well with his teammates in attack on a number of occasions with direct play, intricate passing and plenty of determination.
RB Leipzig U19s Magic Moment:
Schierack’s fantastic opener brought the game to life. He showed real finesse and accuracy to curl the ball past a helpless Oluwayemi and into the top corner of the net. A wonderful goal.
71 Tobi Oluwayemi
52 Dylan Corr
62 Ben McPherson
63 Matthew Anderson ©
93 Mitchell Robertson
53 Ben Summers
60 Mackenzie Carse
64 Tsoanelo Letsosa
40 Bruno Davidson
58 Adam Brooks
69 Rocco Vata
70 Josh Clarke
46 Magnus MacKenzie
92 Daniel Kelly
66 Corey Thomson
81 Lewis Dobbie
55 Josh Dede
51 Ben Quinn
RB Leipzig U19s
22 Timo Schlieck
14 Max Voigt
5 Vincent Zaruba
12 Tim Köhler
13 Bigo Atom
15 Tim Meyer
6 Elias Lenz
16 Pierre Weber
8 Simon Schierack
30 Tino Kaufmann
9 Ohene Köhl
1 Silas Prüfrock
26 Jorden Winter
28 Cedric Zajkowski
24 Kurt Pestel
10 Kristaps Grabovskis
4 Kelechi Daniel Ihendu
3 Tom Wulf
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