Reigning champions Celtic came back from behind to beat Ross County in their Scottish Premiership opener.

County's Darren Maatsen shocked Celtic Park with an emphatic early goal from distance.

Hoops' Dutch debutant Derk Boerrigter looked lively before Anthony Stokes levelled from a yard out for the hosts.

Celtic hit the woodwork twice after the break and Stokes was denied a penalty before the striker's late near-post finish clinched three points.

It was so nearly an early dent to the 90-point-total Celtic manager Neil Lennon has set for 2013-14 in the inaugural year of the Scottish Professional Football League's Premiership.

Last season, a tally of 79 points was amassed as the final Scottish Premier League title was secured by Lennon's side, and the champions' flag was unfurled before kick-off.

Eyes focused largely on Dutch debutants with former Ajax winger Boerrigter in the hosts' line-up and Ross County fielding Maatsen and forward Kevin Luckassen.

Derk Boerrigter

Celtic's Derk Boerrigter made a lively debut but was forced off with an injury after half an hour

County were beginning only their second season in Scotland's top flight and a fifth-place finish last time round means hopes are high for the Dingwall side during the new campaign.

Supporters' minds have still to be made up on the reliability of Hoops defender Efe Ambrose and when Ross County's Graham Carey charged down the Nigerian's first minute clearance, hearts were in mouths again.

Early Celtic shakiness gave way to sheer County brilliance when one of their five new players, Maatsen, thumped home a brilliant opening goal off the underside of the crossbar.

Neat play by Carey set up the Dutchman's right-footed smash from the corner of the penalty box.

Boerrigter did his best to give Celtic fans a positive first impression, one header wide and a left-foot shot well saved by County's Mark Brown punctuating a generally lively offering.

Visiting goalkeeper Brown earned further plaudits by beating away Commons' fierce drive but his goal was about to be breached in scrappy style.

Amid shouts for offside, it was Celtic striker Stokes who turned in from a yard after Ledley's effort had been blocked and then Boeriggter's follow-up rebounded off a post.

Analysis

Ross County celebrate Darren Maatsen's third-minute goal

"Ross County did what Ross County do. They work hard and they're organised; that's why they'll get good results throughout the season." BBC Radio Scotland pundit Billy Dodds

The Highlanders rarely got out of their own half and what was almost Boeriggter's debut goal became his last contribution when he slid for a cross and fell awkwardly near defender Mihael Kovacevic.

Stokes has shown reluctance to sign a new Celtic contract but was much sprightlier in hitting a snap-shot narrowly wide after the re-start.

Commons continued the one-way traffic by hitting the crossbar and then the midriff of a sprawling Branislav Micic within a four-minute period.

Woodwork was struck again when Ledley's header hit the post as goalkeeper Brown helplessly looked on.

County's rearguard weathered relentless Celtic attacks but when their new defender Brian McLean appeared to push Stokes in the box the whole stadium awaited referee Willie Collum's whistle, which never came.

But Irishman Stokes continued his telepathic passing understanding with Commons until the latter stages, and benefitted from his cute pass to fire in at Brown's near post.

Lineup, Bookings (0) & Substitutions (1)

Celtic

  • 01 Forster
  • 03 Izaguirre
  • 04 Ambrose
  • 21 Mulgrew
  • 23 Lustig
  • 08 Brown
  • 11 Boerrigter (Watt - 39' )
  • 16 Ledley
  • 49 Forrest
  • 10 Stokes
  • 15 Commons

Substitutes

  • 24 Zaluska
  • 02 Matthews
  • 22 Mouyokolo
  • 33 Kayal
  • 46 McGeouch
  • 17 Balde
  • 32 Watt

Ross County

  • 01 Brown
  • 02 Kovacevic
  • 03 Gordon
  • 12 Munro
  • 21 McLean
  • 04 Kettlewell
  • 06 Micic
  • 10 Quinn
  • 14 Maatsen
  • 23 Carey
  • 19 Luckassen

Substitutes

  • 20 Fraser
  • 16 Cooper
  • 18 Klok
  • 22 Saunders
  • 09 Mustafi
  • 11 De Leeuw
  • 17 Ross
Ref: Collum
Att: 45,705

Match Stats

Shots

18 3

On target

5 1

Corners

5 2

Fouls

3 10

Live Text Commentary

53:35

Shot by James Forrest went wide right of the net.

53:23

Corner taken by Kris Commons from the left by-line.

53:13

The ball is delivered by Joe Ledley.

52:35

Kris Commons takes a shot and went wide of the right hand upright.

52:16

Free kick taken by Joe Ledley.

52:09

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Scott Brown by Stuart Kettlewell.

51:27

Kris Commons takes a shot and strikes the bar.

49:38

Clearance made by Efe Ambrose.

49:35

The ball is delivered by Ben Gordon.

49:05

Rocco Quinn has an effort at goal.

48:57

Clearance by Anthony Stokes.

48:53

Corner from the right by-line taken by Graham Carey.

48:06

Shot by Tony Watt missed to the left of goal.

47:51

The ball is swung over by Tony Watt.

46:48

Clearance by Brian McLean.

46:28

Corner from the left by-line taken by Kris Commons.

45:01

The game restarts for the second half.

45:00 +0:20

Tony Watt crosses the ball.

44:42

Clearance by Charlie Mulgrew.

44:36

Branislav Micic restarts play with the free kick.

44:18

Scott Brown concedes a free kick for a foul on Graham Carey.

44:01

Clearance by Grant Munro.

43:54

Corner taken by Kris Commons from the right by-line.

43:37

Shot by Anthony Stokes.

42:50

Scott Brown restarts play with the free kick.

42:40

James Forrest fouled by Stuart Kettlewell, the ref awards a free kick.

42:15

Anthony Stokes sends in a cross.

41:30

Tony Watt takes the chance to get an effort at goal and missed to the right of the net.

41:06

Brian McLean takes the free kick.

40:59

Emilio Izaguirre gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Darren Maatsen.

40:34

Shot by Joe Ledley went wide left of the goal.

40:20

Clearance made by Grant Munro.

40:10

Corner from the left by-line taken by Kris Commons.

39:52

The ball is swung over by James Forrest.

39:46 Half time

Half Time The first half comes to an end.

39:15

Brian McLean manages to make a clearance.

38:50

Grant Munro manages to make a clearance.

38:46

Tony Watt produces a cross.

38:04 Substitution

Substitution Derk Boerrigter leaves the field to be replaced by Tony Watt.

37:42

James Forrest takes the free kick.

37:37

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Mikael Lustig by Graham Carey.

37:01

Branislav Micic restarts play with the free kick.

36:56

Unfair challenge on Branislav Micic by Anthony Stokes results in a free kick.

36:00

James Forrest has an effort at goal.

35:16

Clearance made by Brian McLean.

31:30

Darren Maatsen makes a clearance.

31:25

The ball is swung over by Anthony Stokes.

31:11

Emilio Izaguirre restarts play with the free kick.

31:06

Free kick awarded for a foul by Kevin Luckassen on Charlie Mulgrew.

30:34

Brian McLean makes a clearance.

30:10

Graham Carey takes a shot and missed to the right of the target.

29:34

Efe Ambrose manages to make a clearance.

27:12

Assist on the goal came from Joe Ledley.

27:12 Goal scored

Goal! - Anthony Stokes - Celtic 1 - 1 Ross Co Anthony Stokes slots the ball right footed into the goal. Celtic 1-1 Ross County.

26:20

Shot by Kris Commons. Parried by Mark Brown back into danger.

24:57

Charlie Mulgrew manages to make a clearance.

24:34

Centre by Kris Commons.

24:14

Charlie Mulgrew manages to make a clearance.

23:54

Header by Derk Boerrigter misses left.

23:49

Kris Commons delivers the ball.

22:19

Shot by James Forrest went wide of the right-hand post.

21:51

Grant Munro makes a clearance.

20:58

Derk Boerrigter takes a shot. Mark Brown safely holds on.

19:42

Corner taken by Joe Ledley.

19:06

Shot by Derk Boerrigter. Mark Brown parries the effort to safety.

16:40

Emilio Izaguirre restarts play with the free kick.

16:30

Foul by Mihael Kovacevic on Derk Boerrigter, free kick awarded.

15:28

Header by Anthony Stokes misses left.

15:22

Mikael Lustig delivers the ball.

13:30

Clearance by Grant Munro.

13:26

Centre by Joe Ledley.

11:25

Charlie Mulgrew takes the free kick.

11:18

Mihael Kovacevic challenges Derk Boerrigter unfairly and gives away a free kick.

10:47

Emilio Izaguirre sends in a cross.

9:10

Header by Derk Boerrigter misses left.

8:39

Free kick taken by Charlie Mulgrew.

8:28

Grant Munro gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Mikael Lustig.

6:38

Free kick taken by Efe Ambrose.

6:29

Free kick awarded for a foul by Kevin Luckassen on Mikael Lustig.

5:57

The ball is crossed by .

5:18

Direct effort from the free kick comes in from .

4:44

gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on .

4:29

Free kick taken by .

4:24

Unfair challenge on by results in a free kick.

2:51

Provided the assist for the goal.

2:51 Goal scored

Goal! - Graham Carey - Celtic 0 - 1 Ross Co Scores a right footed goal. Celtic 0-1 Ross County.

2:00

manages to make a clearance.

1:52

Corner taken by from the right by-line.

1:21

makes a clearance.

1:18

sends in a cross.

0:00

The ref blows the whistle to begin the match.

27:09

Mikael Lustig takes a shot and hits the post.

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