Hearfield snatches Mariners win over Celtic
Celtic's pre-season preparations got off to a sticky start as they lost the opening game of their Australian tour 1-0 to Central Coast Mariners in Sydney today.
Substitute Troy Hearfield netted the winner in the 87th minute after the Scottish giants had failed to clear a cross from the left.
Celtic handed debuts to two close-season signings, defenders Adam Matthews and Kelvin Wilson, and included just three starters from their Scottish Cup final-winning team.
The friendly match between last season's Australian A-League and Scottish Premier League runners-up produced few clear-cut chances and neither goalkeeper was forced into a significant save in the first half.
Celtic put a couple of attempts wide and the Mariners had a good spell just before the break, forcing several corners and having two shots blocked.
The game came to life after an hour, with each side earning good chances within the space of a minute.
Goalkeeper Justin Pasfield foiled Celtic substitute Anthony Stokes with his legs, before Adriano Pellegrino headed wide from a cross from Mariners left-back Josh Rose.
The Bhoys play Perth Glory next Saturday and Melbourne Victory four days later.