Not enough is being made of the absolutely stunning goal that Celtic defender Caitlin Hayes scored against Levante in the club’s first ever appearance in the Women’s Champions League on Wednesday afternoon.
On thing that annoys many supporters is when a opposition player stands right in front of the ball after a free-kick has been awarded in the middle of the park, thus preventing a forward pass. Often the player talking the free-kick simply passes sideways or backwards and gets on with the game.
If you are 2-0 down at the time then there’s a sense of urgency so this type of nonsense from a team in the lead usually goes unpunished and it’s seldom commented upon.
Against Levante Celtic were awarded a free kick inside their own half around five yards from the half-way line near the touchline, on the side of the park nearest the two benches. The Spanish side were 2-0 up and Celtic were desperately trying to get a foothold back in the game, supported brilliantly by those Brattbakk Bhoys we talked about yesterday.
Caitlin Hayes was going to take the kick but the Levante player was standing blocking a forward pass. Celtic right-back Jodie Bartle, had other ideas about allowing that and practically lifted the Spanish girl back ten yards, much to the annoyance of the Russian referee.
Bartle was spoken to but not cautioned but near her on the touchline the Celtic manager Fran Alonso was clearly just as annoyed, perhaps as he had prior knowledge of what the Celtic defender planned to do with the free kick, in what was a wet and windy afternoon in Trondheim. Alonso was given a yellow card for his contribution to the debate and Caitlin Hayes was thereafter able to take the free kick, which you can watch below, wind assisted, from 5 yards inside her own half and down near the touchline.
Still trying to wrap my head around yesterday 🤯😁
Not the result we wanted but a performance to be proud of against a top European side 💪🏻
We’ve still got time to make history on Saturday.
Proud of my team 💚🍀 pic.twitter.com/kbKefwAP18
— Jodie Bartle (@Bartle_5) August 19, 2021
It’s like one of those kicking experts at rugby who can take the penalty from the half-way line and get it over the posts, an impressive if rare skill in the game. On Wednesday Caitlin Hayes took that free-kick – wind assisted – and found the top left hand corner of the Levante net, via one wicked bounce inside the penalty area, much to the complete bemusement of the Levante goalkeeper and her astonished teammates.
It is an incredible goal and deserves to be widely shared among Celtic Supporters.
Caitlin is speaking to the Celtic Fan Media this afternoon alongside manager Fran Alonso, so we’ll be asking our Wonder Woman’ about that first ever Celtic goal in the Champions League and also pulling Fran’s leg about his own dreadful disciplinary record!
🤩 Caitlin Hayes, AHA!💥
Catch the centre back speaking to the press ahead of #MINCEL on Saturday later this afternoon🎙️#UWCL | @celtictv pic.twitter.com/xXyOwRwqoC
— Celtic FC Women (@CelticFCWomen) August 20, 2021