A night of high drama at Celtic Park, 50 years ago this evening

Fifty years ago this evening Celtic narrowly won through to the semi-finals of the European Cup after a 4-2 win against Swiss Champions Basle. Both legs finished 3-2 to the home-side for the first time ever Celtic entered a period of extra-time in European competition. And it was an unlikely hero in Stevie Murray who headed Celtic into the European Cup semi-finals…

Match Report

Celtic started powerfully and Dalglish and Deans had them 2-0 up in 15 minutes with the fans roaring them on. Sadly, George Connelly broke an ankle in only five minutes and was carried off.

In 30 minutes Basle changed their goalkeeper and he took three minutes to be replaced. This broke Celtic’s stride and defensive lapses cost them two goals before half time. After the break Celts had a further scare when Hitzfeld hit the post with Connelly’s presence in defence badly missed.

Tommy Callaghan levelled the tie

In 57 minutes Callaghan levelled the tie on aggregate when he scored with a tremendous volley from a Johnstone cross. The fans roared Celtic on at the death and they had a plethora of corners before Fischli was lucky to escape a penalty after hand ball in 85 minutes.

In extra time Celtic looked stronger and Johnstone missed from three yards when McNeill headed a cross on to him before Deans struck the keeper with a shot when clean through on goal.

Stevie Murray coolly looked up

In 99 minutes with the scores equal on aggregate at 5-5, Harry Hood chipped a ball to the back post. Jimmy Johnstone strained to head it back towards goal and Stevie Murray coolly looked up and looped a header over the keeper high into the net.

Many years later when he recalled that goal, Murray had stated that he had learned the technique for that header by playing ‘headies’ in the school playground as thousands of Scots boys had once did themselves.


Jock Stein was proud of the fans

Parkhead exploded after the goal and the thought of another European semi-final.

Jock Stein was proud of the fans afterwards as their backing had been total even when the team was struggling. The noise and passion of the supporters had really made them the twelfth man on the night.

Match Highlights

Match Trivia

1. An All ticket game. Celtic were behind 3-2 from the first leg.

2. Jimmy Johnstone retained his place and came in on the right. Jimmy Bone was ineligible and in came Harry Hood.

3. Celtic win their first ever European tie in extra time.

4. George Connelly carried off with a broken ankle after only 5 minutes and this costs him his place in the 1974 world cup finals with Scotland.

6. Future Borussia Dortmund and Bayern Munich manager Ottmar Hitzfeld was centre forward for Basle.
Celtic qualify for their fourth European Cup semi-final in eight seasons.

7. Connelly, Hay and Dalglish are named in the Scotland squad for the game against West Germany on 27 March.

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