Inverness, Scotland (SportsNetwork.com) - Celtic and Inverness traded goals in the opening five minutes of a 1-1 draw at Tulloch Caledonian Stadium on Saturday.
The two sides will square off next weekend in the semifinals of the Scottish Cup and they got things started on Saturday with two goals in the opening five minutes of the contest.
Leigh Griffiths tracked down a long ball from Scott Brown and found space to hammer a 25-yard shot past goalkeeper Dean Brill, who left the match in the 15th minute with an injury and replaced by Ryan Esson.
But the hosts mustered up a reply less than two minutes later when a deflected shot from David Raven was blocked on the goal line by Celtic defender Jason Denayer, only for Edward Ofere to knock home the rebound from close range.
Esson was very good after replacing Brill in the 15th minute and he produced a fine stop on a point-blank header from Efe Ambrose shortly before halftime.
Celtic spent much of the second half in the Inverness end of the field, but Esson came to the rescue once again to keep out a dangerous header from Denayer, and Celtic was unable to make the most of its edge in possession, forcing the visitors to settle for a point.
The result moves Celtic eight points clear of second-place Aberdeen, which visits Kilmarnock on Sunday.
Also on Saturday, Dundee United used a goal in the 70th minute from Chris Erskine to down Hamilton, 1-0, a second-half brace from Lyle Taylor led Partick Thistle to a 2-0 triumph over Motherwell and Brian Graham's goal in the 26th minute was the difference as St Johnstone topped Dundee, 1-0.