We can finish the job, insists Hoops' Hooper

Celtic striker Gary Hooper celebrates their first goal against HJK Helsinki.
Celtic striker Gary Hooper celebrates their first goal against HJK Helsinki. Photo: PA

Celtic striker Gary Hooper is confident they can score over in Finland and progress to the Champions League play-offs after coming from behind to beat HJK Helsinki at Parkhead.

The Finns had rarely threatened in the first half but Rasmus Schuller netted on the rebound two minutes into the second period to stun the 52,849 crowd.

However, Kris Commons hit the post from 20 yards within moments as Celtic responded well and Hooper then slotted home a Georgios Samaras cross in the 54th minute.

Charlie Mulgrew headed home Commons' corner on the hour mark and, although Celtic could not increase their advantage, Hooper is optimistic they will net in Finland and progress.

The Englishman said: "I thought we played well. We didn't take our chances in the first half and conceded a sloppy goal but we came back and scored two good goals. We did really well to respond.

"We had to step it up a level and we did. I thought we played really well."

Helsinki are 19 games into their domestic season while the Clydesdale Bank Premier league champions open their campaign against Aberdeen on Saturday, but Hooper does not believe match sharpness was or will be an issue.

"We passed the ball well, the fitness levels were up there," he said. "The sharpness is not there yet but we are getting there.

"We have got an SPL game with Aberdeen and take the sharpness out of that into Wednesday.

"We have just got to play like we did. We will not sit in and defend, we will go there and play football.

"We have enough attacking players to score goals. We are good on the counter-attack.

"I look to score in every game and if the chances come like they did in the first leg then I think we have a good chance."