Football: Boyd sticks to his guns over penalty

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The Independent Online
THE CELTIC captain, Tom Boyd, yesterday insisted he had no option but to follow his instincts as he reflected on the moment he turned goalkeeper against FC Zurich at Parkhead.

With the first leg of the second-round Uefa Cup tie poised at 1-0 in Celtic's favour, Boyd dived across an empty net to handle a goal-bound Shaun Bartlett shot, prompting a pen-alty and an immediate red card right on half-time.

The first part of Boyd's calculated gamble paid off as Cesar Santanna had his spot-kick saved by Jonathan Gould and, after the restart, Celtic coped well with 10 men.

However, after 75 minutes, Gould blundered to allow Urs Fischer a freak equaliser, cancelling out Harald Brattbakk's 22nd-minute opener and leaving Celtic with a mountainous task in the Alps next month.

Boyd is already suspended for that match, but stressed he felt he was not guilty of handing the Swiss the initiative with the dramatic diving stop.

He said: "There is a school of thought which says leave the ball to go in because 11 against 11 is better than playing with a man down. But I had only a split second to make up my mind and had to take the chance Gould would save the penalty.

"It is a disappointment to be out for the return because I don't feel there is a lot to fear from them in the second leg."

Celtic may have Marko Viduka on their books ahead of Saturday's game with Aberdeen with the Croatia Zagreb target confident a pounds 3m deal can be struck.