Mock of Gibraltar
Mighty Celtic fall to a team of part-timers from a small British overseas territory
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE QUALIFYING ROUND 2, FIRST LEG
LINCOLN RED IMPS 1
(Lee Casciaro 48)
A team that featured players who did their day jobs before playing this game against a team of cosseted millionaires from a club that won the 1967 European Cup.
The result should have been a foregone conclusion. But it wasn't.
Celtic gave Scotland their proudest moment in European football by winning the European Cup, but the 2016 side handed the country their most embarrassing moment in football by losing to Gibraltar part-timers Lincoln Red Imps in a Champions League qualifier first leg away at Victoria Stadium yesterday morning (Singapore time).
Goalscorer Lee Casciaro, 34, a Ministry of Defence policeman, scored Gibraltar's first competitive international goal against Scotland in 2015 at Hampden Park.
But this is the victory he treasures most.
Casciaro said beating Celtic had been a dream result for the team of part-timers.
"It is an amazing night, it is a great story and I will never forget this," Casciaro said.
"This is something people dream about. This result is a remarkable thing for football.
"We have been in Uefa for only three years and to get this win against Celtic, a big club, is something we will cherish for the rest of our lives.
"We've got to enjoy every moment, especially on these occasions.
"We knew they would press us and leave gaps at the back. So any loose ball or defensive lapse would mean I would get a chance. Lucky enough, I scored.
"I have been lucky enough to score at Hampden Park, so if I could score at Celtic (in the return leg on July 20) it would be unimaginable.
"This goal means more because we won. We lost 6-1 to Scotland, so scoring that day wasn't beneficial for me. Scoring against Celtic and winning is the main aim of football.
"The second leg will be harder and quicker. The weather will benefit them and we are not used to playing on grass pitches. But we will see what we can do." - Wire Services.
Brendan Rodgers urged Celtic fans to "stay calm" after his first game as manager ended in defeat against the part-timers of Gibraltar.
Rodgers' side laboured in the heat and on the plastic pitch.
But, despite the humiliating defeat, the former Liverpool boss remains confident of overturning the result at Parkhead.
Said Rodgers: "There is no embarrassment. It was a tough game in tough conditions. We didn't take our chances, they took their chance.
"It doesn't matter the team, the level. Teams have good organisation, 11 players behind the ball. Throw the pitch into that, it's very, very tough for the players.
"We have seen enough to know that we can get through in the second leg. Celtic fans expect us to get through into the group stages. The message to them is to stay calm. This is a good group of players, they are working hard and, in a week, we will need (the fans).
"I always thought this qualification phase would be based on the second leg at home, so we will need that support and, hopefully, get the job done next week."
Goalscorer Lee Casciaro offered some consoling words. "They have been training for only the past two or three weeks, we've been training close to two months already.
"The weather benefited us and the pitch benefited us because they are not used to playing on an artificial pitch."
- Wire Services.
They fire away
"Shock of Gibraltar"
- The British press screamed
"Rodgered by a Copper (policeman) - Rodgers suffers humiliating 'Shock of Gibraltar' defeat in first game in charge.''
- British tabloid the Sun
"It was the club's worst result in their history, but travelling Bhoys (Celtic) fans were fortunate to be only a one hundred metres or so away from the airport to escape the embarrassment against the part-timers."
- The Sun
"Rodgers rocked! Celtic beaten by butchers, bakers and candlestick makers."
- The Daily Mail
"Rodgers said he was treating the Imps like they were Barcelona - well, his side made the policemen and customs officials look like Barcelona."
- The Daily Record