Celtic hold AC Milan to 0-0 draw

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Celtic held AC Milan to a 0-0 draw on Tuesday in the first leg of the second round of the Champions League.

updated: March 22, 2007 06:37 IST
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Glasgow, Scotland:

Celtic held AC Milan to a 0-0 draw on Tuesday in the first leg of the second round of the Champions League. Milan striker Alberto Gilardino, who has recently recovered from a knee injury, had his team's best chance when he beat the offside trap in the 26th minute, but his shot was deflected wide by Celtic goalkeeper Artur Boruc. Shortly before that chance, Milan midfielder Yoann Gourcuff had a close-range header saved by Boruc. For Celtic, Shunsuke Nakamura's free kick was saved by the diving Zeljko Kalac in the 39th. Earlier, Kenny Miller had an attempt saved by Kalac. "We have more of a chance after this game and I am confident we can go through," AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti said. "I was happy with the performance of my side. We tried everything in attack and that is what I wanted." AC Milan captain Paolo Maldini became the fifth player to make his 100th Champions League appearance, joining Oliver Kahn, David Beckham, Roberto Carlos and Raul Gonzalez. The 38-year-old Maldini also played in the previous version of the competition, making his European Cup debut in 1992. He has two winner's medals and has reached three other finals. Milan without Ronaldo Milan played without Ronaldo, who's ineligible because he played with Real Madrid in the competition earlier this season. Midfielder Clarence Seedorf was also out after failing a late fitness test on a leg injury. In the second half, Celtic midfielder Aiden McGeady had a powerful shot caught by Kalac and Lee Naylor's shot went just wide of the near post. AC Milan midfielder Gennaro Gattuso - a former player with Celtic rival Rangers - slid a shot past the post. Another free kick from Nakamura was deflected by the Milan wall in the 60th. Fifteen minutes later, Marek Jankulovski sent his free kick into the Celtic defensive line. "We're miles away as a football club but big hearts kept us in it," Celtic manager Gordon Strachan said. "(If) we show the same determination not to get beaten, and we take the technical ability up a wee bit, then we can give them a scare, but we're playing against a right good side." Strachan praised his youthful defensive line, which had never played a Champions League game before. "It was tough, it was a great experience," Strachan said. "We had a few scares but I don't know if the goalie (Boruc) had a real save to make." The second leg is scheduled for March 7 at the San Siro stadium, with a reduced number of fans because of strict security measures in stadiums following the death of a policeman in Sicily earlier this month. UEFA said the crowd limit had yet to be decided.