WARSAW, Poland (AP) — A breakout Champions League campaign by Shakhtar Donetsk playmaker Mykhaylo Mudryk is lifting the storied Ukrainian club to an unexpected unbeaten start.
Mudryk showed his speed and a powerful left-foot shot for the second straight week to score the equalizer for Shakhtar a 1-1 draw against Celtic on Wednesday.
The 21-year-old Mudryk beat Celtic goalkeeper Joe Hart with a rising shot in the 29th minute, one week after he scored from distance and added two assists in a 4-1 victory at Leipzig.
It’s a start to Shakhtar’s season that has defied the sporting, financial and security turmoil all of Ukrainian soccer has survived during the Russian military invasion.
Mudryk’s performance — in a game played at Shakhtar’s adopted Champions League home in Legia Warsaw’s stadium — will provoke more interest from big clubs after he was linked to Arsenal last month.
Celtic’s poor run on the road in the Champions League extended to just two wins in 34 away games, yet it had 17 attempts on goal and forced 21-year-old goalkeeper Anatoliy Trubin to make eight saves.
Shakhtar withstood waves of early Celtic pressure and was fortunate to allow only one goal, a 10th-minute own-goal by Artem Bondarenko. The Shakhtar defender’s sliding challenge diverted a shot by Reo Hatate past Trubin into an unguarded net.
Shakhtar has four points in Group F and trails Real Madrid by two points. The Spanish club beat Leipzig 2-0 on Wednesday. Shakhtar next plays at defending champion Madrid on Oct. 5.
Celtic’s players wore black armbands in the club’s first game since the death of Queen Elizabeth II last week in Scotland at the age of 96.
A banner with an expletive in the Celtic end of the stadium in Warsaw reflected the club’s historic links to Ireland and some fans’ opposition to the British monarchy.
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