Understrength Celtic loses 1-0 to Inverness for 1st defeat in Scottish league title defense

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GLASGOW, Scotland — Celtic slipped to the first defeat in its defense of the Scottish league title, losing 1-0 to Inverness Saturday as the champions paid the price for picking an understrength side ahead of a crucial Champions League qualifying match.

A 65th-minute own goal by Eoghan O'Connell earned Inverness a third win in four matches and kept the unbeaten hosts top of the fledgling standings.

Celtic fielded a virtual reserve team with the second leg of its Champions League playoff against NK Maribor on Tuesday in mind. The teams drew 1-1 in the first leg in Slovenia on Wednesday.

Celtic had won its first two matches of the new campaign and is now four points behind Inverness, having played a game less.

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