WINNING away from home in the Champions League – even in a neutral venue - is no easy feat. Especially for Celtic over the years.

This was their 31st away match in the group stages, and they have only ever triumphed twice before on their travels at this point of the competition, losing 25 of those games.

So, the fact they got just their fourth draw of that sequence here in Warsaw against Shakhtar Donetsk, and their first point on the board in this campaign, is not to be sniffed at. But still…

There will be a nagging regret no doubt in Ange Postecoglou’s mind and in those of his players, who must feel that this was a huge opportunity missed.

It had all looked so good for Celtic when Reo Hatate’s low cross was helped into the net by Shakhtar Donetsk defender Artem Bondarenko after 10 minutes, a just reward for an opening half hour in which the Scottish champion were entirely dominant.

This Shakhtar team might not be world beaters, but they did have a special talent within their ranks, and the hugely impressive Mykhaylo Mudryk was the man to drag his team level on the counter to briefly knock Celtic off course.

They regrouped, and were far the better side in the second half too without carrying quite the same goal threat, and therein lies the rub. Celtic were punished for not taking their chances against Real Madrid on matchday one, and they were to a lesser extent here again.

It may prove to be a valuable point in the final shake-up, but there is absolutely no doubt that it could, and probably should, have been a hugely significant three.

The one surprise in Ange Postecoglou’s line-up was the inclusion of Sead Haksabanovic, with the winger being handed his first start on the right ahead of Liel Abada and Daizen Maeda.

Shakhtar were unchanged, unsurprisingly, from the team that shocked RB Leipzig on matchday one, meaning former Celtic man Marian Shved was again on the right wing of a team set up to absorb pressure and hit on the counter.

The pre-match hopes of Shakhtar Donetsk manager Igor Jovicevic that Legia Warsaw’s stadium would be ‘full to the brim’ were more than a little optimistic in the end, with the stands perhaps a little over half full save for the pocket of 2000 or so Celtic supporters tucked into one of the corners.

There was to be no minute of silence following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, and it was probably just as well. Banners held aloft by the Green Brigade prior to kick off consoling Michael Fagan for his loss and proclaiming ‘F*** the Crown’ were fairly reliable indicators that it would not have passed without incident. The players were wearing black armbands though.

Celtic looked sharp from the get-go, and had called Shakhtar keeper Anatoliy Trubin into action twice and come within a whisker of scoring all in the opening four minutes.

Some neat play between Haksabanovic and Greg Taylor down the left then saw the latter fire across the six-yard area, where only a slight touch off a Shakhtar toe diverted the ball away from Kyogo awaiting a tap in.

It looked a matter of time before they took the lead, and it was when Shakhtar tried to launch their first real counter that they themselves were done on the break.

Josip Juranovic won a 50/50 and his long clearance found Haksabanovic in acres of space out on the left. Hatate was busting a gut to get up in support, and the winger found him with a perfectly timed ball as he underlapped into the area. The midfielder tried to find Kyogo in the middle, but the ball cannoned off Bondarenko as he desperately tried to cut it out and trickled into the net.

The goal was certainly no less than Celtic deserved though for a hugely impressive start to the game.

The Celtic press was giving the Shakhtar defence all sorts of problems, and Kyogo came within inches of catching out the keeper as he tried to play out from the back.

From nothing though, just before the half hour, Celtic were given a sharp reminder that you cannot switch off for a second at this level, no matter how comfortable you may feel in a match.

A lovely threaded pass from Shakhtar left-back Yukhym Konoplia saw three Celtic players try and fail to cut it out, leaving dangerman Mudryk racing in behind Juranovic. He advanced on Joe Hart unchallenged and finished with aplomb, placing the ball high into the net to give Shakhtar an unlikely leveller.

Celtic – who have now kept only one clean sheet in 34 away matches in the Champions League - were suddenly rocking, and Shakhtar had the ball in the net again moments later as Mudryk crossed for Shved to finish at the second attempt, but they were saved by the offside flag.

Haksabanovic was a waning influence as the half wore on, and Postecoglou replaced him with the energy of Maeda at the interval.

Celtic were more measured after settling down at the break, and got a couple of sighters on goal through the hitherto peripheral Jota, and the winger then produced a mazy run to get all the way into the Shakhtar area before his shot was blocked.

Shakhtar were sitting in their shape primed to break, but Postecoglou sensed that a fresh impetus might just allow his side to edge in front, and he sent on Aaron Mooy, David Turnbull and Giorgos Giakoumakis.

The fresh legs helped, and Celtic were swarming on the ‘hosts’ again, winning the ball high to allow Jota another hip-swinging run into the area, but he slipped at the vital moment as he shot.

That had been the story of the night, with Celtic just lacking that final touch, as happened again as Giakoumakis headed down for Maeda to scissor-kick wide with the aid of a deflection.

And then came the chance. Callum McGregor played Taylor in on the left and the full-back picked out a brilliant cut-back for Giakoumakis, but with time to take a touch and pick his spot, the forward fired high and wide of the keeper’s top right-hand corner.

Incredibly, Celtic fashioned another opening, Maeda this time firing wide on the stretch from Juranovic’s low cross. So near, and yet so far. But the performance, and the single point, were far from a disaster.