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By ESPN Staff

Boruc apologises to Celtic fans after Israel defeat

Celtic keeper Artur Boruc has apologised to Hoops fans who travelled ''to the end of the world'' to see their heroes throw away an interval lead and lose their Europa League Group C opener against Hapoel Tel Aviv.

Georgios Samaras gave the visitors a 25th-minute advantage at Bloomfield stadium and Tony Mowbray's men looked comfortable as the second half unfolded.

However, the visitors slowly wilted in the heat and humidity, allowing Nemanja Vucicevic to equalise in the 75th minute before substitute Maaran Lala grabbed the winner with a couple of minutes remaining.

The Poland international, whose performance was one of the few plus points for Celtic, sympathised with the small band of supporters who spent around six hours on a plane in order to back their side.

He said: ''I feel sorry for the supporters. They have travelled to the end of the world to support the team and watch the game. I do feel sorry for them because the performance was bad. The second half was really, really bad.''

Boruc added: ''I made some good saves, but it wasn't enough. Celtic shouldn't be beaten in Israel. But it's only the first game. There is a long way to go and we can still go through. There's a big chance for us and we'll see what happens in the next few games.''

Rapid Vienna beat group favourites Hamburg 3-0 in their first tie of the campaign and the Austrians head to Glasgow in a fortnight, with Boruc targeting that game as a chance for the Hoops to get off the mark.

''Rapid beating Hamburg 3-0 was a surprise,'' he said. ''But we play them at home in the next game and that's better for us. I think we'd need to win the three games at home and see if we can do anything in the two away matches.''

Samaras is a doubt for Sunday's Premier League clash with Hearts at Parkhead after gashing his leg when he lost his footing and slid in to the Hoops' technical area in an attempt to keep the ball in play.

The Greece international said: ''Right now my priority is to find out how serious my injury is. I really don't know how bad it is but it is very sore. I don't even know what happened. All I know is that I couldn't stop myself and slipped on the concrete.

''Normally around the pitch there's no such surface - it is dangerous and that should not be allowed. I've been told nothing is broken. But right now I'm in a lot of pain with both my shin and my ankle and until I am examined in Glasgow I can't say any more.''

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