Though they hit the woodwork three times and missed several decent chances, a late debut goal from Callum McGregor gave Celtic a deserved lead to take back to Glasgow
And afore ye go, one final Weejism, from Callum Hamilton: "Mention to the celebratory acronym GIRUY - Get It Right Up Ye, or the less common GIRRY - Get It Right Roon Ye."
Thanks all for your company and comments - guid nicht.
Well, Celtic will take that. They improved through the game, and will be especially pleased that Callum McGregor not only scored on his debut, but impressed in patches. Commons also looked dangerous, and Mulgrew and Griffiths had their moments. By the time they've played the return, and the next round, Celtic should be matchfit, ready to start the league season well, as teams who'd played the Intertoto often did. I reckon it might put them in with a chance of winning the title.
90+1 min: Has John Collins ever played against Collins John?" asks Brian Kitt.
No - but they missed each other at Fulham by a year.
90 min: There shall be three additional minutes, before the return leg, at Murrayfield, because of the Commonwealth Games. You what?
90 min: It's Mark McGhee in co-commentary - and he's giving Paddy Crerand a run for his money in the neutrality stakes.
89 min: "Mabazza Ritchie of course had a son called Oomabazza...", fnarrs Simon McMahon. I wish I knew someone called Ritchie.
87 min: Atlason leaves, Ormarsson arrives.
McGregor takes possession out on the right and skips inside onto his left, away from Gunnarsson and away from goal, but now inside the box. Then, with bodies in front of him, rather than try a hopeful pass, he shoots, and a slight deflection off Zato's ankle is enough to take it in at the near post, with Magnusson already moving towards the far.
84 min Celtic pile forward, and eventually, Izaguirre checks in on his left foot and lashes a shot that Magnusson beats out, Zato hoiking the loose ball away.
82 min: Zato picks up a loose ball at inside right and carries it around the outside, crossing towards the penalty spot. Ragnarsson and Finbogason are both up, but contrive to interfere with one another, the former heading against the latter.
81 min: Change for KR: the former Middlesbrough player, Gary Martin - who was probably his side's best player in the first half - departs, replaced by Ragnarsson.
77 min: You've got hand it to Celtic, they've just performed a magnificent act of not scoring. Commons got on the ball 25 yards out, left of centre, and danced in and out before shooting low and hard. Plunging to his right, Magnusson saved, but could only parry, Boerrritiger and McGregor converging and somehow failing to finish, partly through ineptitude, partly through a decent recovery. But even then, the ball broke to Pukki, who swayed left to open the angle, and with the net empty, couldn't quite curl sufficient instep around it, cracking the post halfway up.
76 min: Pukki quickly into the action, combining with Lustig and Commons, for the latter's cross to be headed clear.
75 min: Someone please reassure me that Pukki's dressing room nickname is Horse.
73 min: Celtic have been trying to make a double-change for quite a while, and now they do. Off goes Griffiths - odd, as he's played well, especially in the second half - and Stokes. On come Boerritiger and Pukki.
71 min: Lustig midjudges, and Sigurdsson dashes onto the loose ball, heading through the inside-left channel and turning to cross. But Van Dijk is awake and humps out for a corner, of which nothing comes.
69 min: Has there ever been a better-named sheep than McMutton? I contend not.
67 min: Atlasson handballs and is upbraided accordingly. This fails tae find favour in the eyes of Sigurdsson, whae is booked fae complaining.
66 min: "My favourite from my five years living in Glasgow", emails James Callaghan, "was if a guy's name is Ritchie, it would be prefixed by Mabaaza."
Think aboot it - it's very very good.
64 min: Mulgrew drills another ball fae Griffiths on the right, and he catches it beautifully on the run and on his chest. It comes tae nothing, but again, more joy down his side.
63 min: All Celtic now, their right side particularly threatening. Two crosses arrive in short order, the first from Griffiths and second from Mulgrew, baith heided clear.
61 min: Celtic are getting closer. Griffiths collects a pass from Mulgrew and immediately looks to dip inside onto left foot. Looking up to assess, he carries the ball a little further before viciously attacking it with a screeching drive that cannons the far side of the bar. "We know he can do that", advises the co-commentator with impressive prescience.
59 min Balbi - Luis Suarez's brother-in-law is replaced by Zato. Well, he does look tasty, etcetera etcetera.
58 min: Mulgrew and Commons combine through the heart of the KR half, Commons fouled almost dead centre and 30 yards out. Stokes and Mulgrew are behind it, the former curling a left footer over the bar at its left angle.
55 min: Kris Commons is easily Celtic's maist dangerous player, and yet, at the time ay writing, is having a shocker. McGregor nashes forward and finds matey, who flips square for Stokes, moving wide down the left. His return cut-back is perhaps a little under-paced, but is good enough for Commons to finish, only for him to paddle a tame effort into the warm, grateful arms of Magnusson.
52 min "Ye've gottae score" - even though the co-commentator doesnae believe in the concept. Mulgrew drills a long ball to inside right, which hits the retreating Hauksson on the back. Stokes picks up the loose ball, and transfers to Commons, who, perhaps 15 yards from goal, opens his body to henry right footed into the corner, and instead larrups over the top.
52 min: "Thanks for covering Celtic – it gives an expat Glaswegian something to watch during lunchtime here in sunny Arizona". begins Terry Cusker. "You mentioned some favorite Glaswegian-isms, may I suggest some of mine?
'Ga’un yersel’' – translates to well done
'Up yours with a flue brush' – not a term of endearment not an action I’d recommend given it literally suggests that you should stick a brush used to clean the fireplace into your backside.
'Eaten and spewed faced bastard' – again not especially kind, here you are not only questioning someone’s legitimacy but also suggesting that the person’s face resembles cold sick..."
50 min: Celtic win a corner on the left, curved to the back post by Stokes. There, Lustig rises to nod back across, and when Josepsson does likewise, Commons rams a shot high over the top.
48 min Mulgrew saunters in off the right and clips a reverse ball for Griffiths, immediately turned back around the corner for Commons - these three have looked maist likely. Commons then shoots, but doesnae properly git hold, and it floats away over the top.
46 min Saevarsson arcs a moving ball from centre to left, over the Celtic defence towards Balbi, and Van Dijk is forced to shunt it behind. He then clears the corner, and in so doing, sticks the nut on Josepsson, prompting a brief delay.
46 min: KR go again.
Right then. KR prepare to go again.
Why do the various think that KR will tire, when they're in the middle of their season, and Celtic are just beginning theirs?
"Not been one to set the pulse racing", says the host on BBC Scotland, and he's right. For the first time ever, I feel like a triathlete.
45 min There shall be no added minutes, it'd seem. That makes it half-time.
44 min: "So if Celtic win this does Scotland become independent?" asks Ian Copestake. Not sure I could think of a more independent place, though agree that a game of football seems a better way of deciding things than asking folk.
42 min From nowhere, some pleasantness. Mulgrew sees Lustig racing down the right, and waits a moment, then wedges a left-footed dig over the heads of Balbi and Gunnarsson. He's in a really good position to cross, close to the by-line and advancing, but cannae pick oot his man, and Sigurdsson clears.
41 min Hauksson battles down the right, is robbed by Izaguirre, then robs him back, and jogs off dead pleased with hissel.
39 min: Not much comes to pass.
37 min: "The referee's on the scene," says the commentator, when Johansen pulls down Balbi. "You know what I mean, they passed me up, confronted all the dope fiends", the co-commentator doesnae reply.
36 min: Better again, a succession of passes finding Griffiths down his right, and as Gunnarsson comes in to challenge, the ball is lifted over his head. But with no angle to cross, it goes backwards, ending up at the feet of Commons on the left, whose cross comes to nowt.
34 min: Lovely frae Celtic, Mulgrew sliding a hard, fast one into Commons, roaming "between the lines". He touches off, turns, and finds Stokes on his left, who returns, and then when his return is returned, finds a bouncing ball just inside the box. He tires to get body over and foot under, but blooter wide of the right-hand post.
33 min: Commons spreads left to Izaguirre, who crosses first time - but Sigurdsson in there to turn it away.
31 min: Celtic actually started reasonably enough, but have deteriorated over the last fifteen minutes or so, and KR are in the ascendancy, such as it is.
30 min: Balbi wins a free-kiock off Ambrose, left side about 40 yards out, level with the edge of the box. Martin curls it in, after which literally nothing happens.
28 min: Martin wriggles down the right side of the box and lays off for Atlasson to cross first time. He's looking for Finnbogasson in the middle, but Lustig cranes his neck to heid away.
28 min: It is not easy to tell which songs are coming from which set of fans, who are seeing little to distract them on the pitch. Which is handy, as good football is extremely antisocial.
27 min: KR's kit is a lot like that immortalised by the Glipton Giants.
25 min: Sigardsson dives in late, catching Lustig's ankle and shin between his legs - but the referee allows him to escape with just a free-kick.
23 min: Ronny Delia thinks it is "stupid" that Celtic have to play three times to get into the Champions League. He must've had a bad experience on a Euro away. Anyway, his team have yet to back him up, and if anything, FK have grown into the game, Martin forcing England's Fraser Forster to dive left in order to gather his low shot, hit left-footed, left to right from dead centre.
21 min Johansen takes the ball between centre-circle and penalty box, rolling it under his studs and to clip a studied pass over the top for Griffiths. He's wandered slightly offside, but that was better - a bit of composure and consideration.
19 min Again Celtic break, this time with McGregor, who drives a long ball over to the right, where Commons is arriving. But he can't quite catch up and control, so KR get it away.
17 min Celtic break, and Stokes, pulling left and checking arcs a ball into Johansen's stride. But it's not got much pace, and isn't quite in his stride, so rather than impart laces, he's forced to introduce instep, and Josepsson blocks.
16 min Atlason looks for Martin, sliding a through ball between Ambrose and Van Dijk, but they fiddle it clear.
14 min: Where da ye stey, meaning where do you live, is one of my favourite Glaesgaisms. Any more for any more? Meantime, Mulgrew unfurls a long ball from centre to right, seeking Griffiths, but he cannae quite catch up with it.
12 min KR's first attack of the evening, Martin nipping down the right with Gunnarsson for company, and his cross is eventually hacked clear by Ambrose.
11 min Commons again, this time nipping across the face, right-to-left. Once he's happy with the angle, he whips into a dig that Magnusson can only fumble behind. The corner comes to nothing.
9 min Briliant from Celtic! Griffiths nashes doon the right and lifts the ball over Gunnarsson's heid, where is carries to Commons, central, pretty much. He allows it to bounce, and then skips into a murderous left-footed volley that crashes against the bar.
9 min Celtic are in their yellow away strip, as their green-and-white hoops clash with KR's black and white stripes.
8 min Is cleared away tautology? I suppose it is.
7 min Celtic knock it around briefly, and Ambrose shmies down the right, seeking Griffiths inside - but he's caught on his heels, and the ball's cleared away.
5 min Celtic's support is making precisely the kind of noise you'd expect from a bunch of chaps enjoying themselves, and KR are at it too. It'll never catch on.
3 min McGregor shimmies left and is felled, 35 yards out. Mulgrew chips to the back post, where it clips Van Dijk's doo-rag, shooting behind.
2 min Incidentally, KR are fourth in the table, six points off FH.
1 min And we're off!
Glesga tales. There on a stag, and with the stag passed oot in the gutter, a local very kindly revived him with a warm shower.
I wish I was called Charlie Mulgrew. What a name!
KR Reykjavik: Magnusson, Haukur Hauksson, Josepsson, Gretar Sigurdsson, Gudmundur Gunnarsson, Atlason, Saevarsson, Baldur Sigurdsson, Lorenzo, Finnbogason, Martin. Subs: Jensson, Egil Jonsson, Gunnar Thor Gunnarsson, Thorsteinn Ragnarsson, Ormarsson, Hroar Sigurdsson, Zato.
Celtic: Forster, Lustig, van Dijk, Ambrose, Izaguirre, Griffiths, Johansen, Mulgrew, McGregor, Commons, Stokes. Subs: Zaluska, Matthews, Boerrigter, Pukki, Kayal, O'Connell, Henderson.
Referee: Andreas Pappas
"It has to be dark before you can see the Northern Lights," says Bjorn Bjornsson. |Not much dark this time of year."
I fear those who travel shall cope.
"You're right," rejoinders Tom Price. "Icelander these fixtures too easily."
They're not to be taken northernlightsly.
"I was at the Berlin victory parade today," brags Mike Meehall Wood, "and I know which footballing event I'm more excited about - Mon the Hoops!"
I - or, rather, Hamish and Daddie Balfour, Wee Wally Campbell Ian McWhacker and Irvine Welsh, together my principal reference points when it comes to writing Scottish - would have that as 'moan, I think.
A Euro away, in July, in Reykjavik! That's what winning the Scottish Premier League gets you - and to think some of those who play in it want to come to England.
Email! Well, Twitter, with Tom Price, who arfs thusly: "From what Delia said earlier it seems like these early CL qualifiers can really Reykjavik-cation."
Unless it's supplying you with a Euro away where previously there was none. I'd've took it, as Ryan Giggs would say.
Preamble. Well, it's been hard, but we've stuck together, loved each other, and somehow got through it. After an impossibly torturous 46 hours and 36minutes of cold soup, milk of magnesia, paracetamol, Lucozade and buckets, we can finally salve our aching, jonesing, rattling beings, with glorious, luxuriant, caressing, understanding, revitalising, ravishing, brutal, wonderful, wonderful, brutal, wonderful fitba. Selah!
Quite what it thinks it's doing starting on the 15th of July, but. But welcome to 2014-15 nonetheless. 2014-15!