Celtic defeat Sporting Lisbon on penalties at Fenway

Boston: Celtic defeated Sporting Lisbon on penalties on Wednesday in the first soccer game at Boston`s Fenway Park in 42 years.

After a 1-1 draw in regulation, the Scottish club won the shootout 6-5 when Paul McGowan buried his spot kick in the back of the net following a miss by Sporting`s Liedson.

The contest took place on a warm, clear Boston night in front of 32,162 fans dominated by green and white striped Celtic supporters.

After a scoreless first half, Celtic`s Greek international striker Georgious Samaras opened the scoring in the 70th minute when he converted a penalty past Sporting goalkeeper Tiago after a blatant trip.

The Portuguese side upped the pressure in the final few minutes, peppering Celtic keeper Lucasz Zaluska with a series of chances, before Helder Postiga equalised with a header in the 80th minute.

The exuberant crowd -- enjoying soccer at Fenway for the first time since Brazilian great Pele strode the pitch on July 9, 1968 -- mixed a little soccer tradition with a little baseball, singing both "You`ll Never Walk Alone" and "Sweet Caroline," a perennial at baseball`s Boston Red Sox games, at halftime.

"It was good to bring the team here today, so the fans can see live what they see on television," said Sporting midfielder Pedro Mendes.

The Red Sox are on a road-trip to the West Coast. Groundskeepers patched over much of the infield to construct the soccer pitch several yards short of a regulation-sized field.

Bureau Report

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