What Postecoglou said about last night's "terrible errors"

Updated: Oct 2

Celtic qualified for the Group Stages of the Europa League last night, despite losing 2-1 on the night to Dutch opponents AZ Alkmaar.

Kyogo Furuhashi's second minute strike turned out to be goal that separated the sides over two legs but Celtic would've progressed with a few degrees extra comfort if it hadn't of been for some high profile errors from their backline.

Less than three minutes after Kyogo's opener, Stephen Welsh didn't clear his lines after a route one clearance from AZ keeper, Hobie Verhulst. The ball ricocheted off the young defenders shoulder towards the path of Joe Hart who seemed to overestimate the pace on the ball.

This misjudgment allowed Zakaria Aboukhlal to steal possession from Hart's toes on the 18-yard box and set up a simple finish for the Moroccan, despite his best efforts to miss.

The confidence this equaliser provided the AZ team had the opposite effect on those in Celtic colours in a relentless first half of football.

Celtic fell behind on the evening after 26 minutes in a passage of play that I'm sure Carl Starfelt relived in his nightmares last night. The former Rubin Kazan defender, under no pressure from AZ attackers, completely mistimed his attempted clearance from a cross into the penalty box.

The ball clumsily bounced off his standing leg and into the bottom corner, past a helpless Joe Hart, as he swung his boot at it. It's the latest of a few early season errors that the big Swede has recorded in Celtic colours.

In fairness to both men, they seemed to recover from these mistakes and grew into the game, both making crucial contributions to keep the score as it was as Celtic progressed to the Group Stages.

Ange Postecoglou has this to say in his post-match interview:

"We made two pretty terrible errors but that's what happens when you're dealing with human beings, they're going to make mistakes. What was more important for us is how we reacted.
"We lost our way a little bit in the first half and they got some momentum, because we started the game well. Obviously giving them two goals set us back but the second half we dug in when we had to.
"Joe, who was disappointed with the first-half mistake, made a couple of outstanding saves and Carl defended really strongly in the second half."

Read more: How Celtic weathered a storm to qualify for the Europa League Group stages