As it was, the closest they came to an equaliser was off an opposition boot, Jozo Simunovic’s very first touch after coming on for Boyata pinging an attempted clearance over Scott Bain and off the face of the bar.Apart from that, though, all the hurry-scurry in the world wasn’t enough – and in truth, had Scott Sinclair and Odsonne Edouard in particular been calmer in front of goal Celtic could have been out of sight by the end.Instead, in those added minutes, it was Celtic who showed how to cope with these kind of situations, the ones that break up the flow as well as the concentration.
All of it reduced down to one single thought in the minds of 50,000 inside the national stadium: Please let the boy be OK.
A team-mate had the presence of mind to flip him onto his back.
Boyata was up first, led rubber-legged to the sidelines to get stitched, a white bandage wrapped dramatically around his forehead and dreadlocks.
He’d later crouch down and admit defeat to a swimming head, but at least he was up and moving.
Dallas, to me at least, looked fathoms out of his depth with this level of responsibility dumped on his shoulders.
But hey, there are bigger things in life than a rank-rotten penalty decision.
That extra momentum took a man the size of a light-heavyweight boxer into one nine stone soaking wet with the force of a lump hammer, never mind a size-five Mitre.
And as the Dons man landed in a heap like a child’s discarded rag-doll, it was if everything that had gone before was wiped out in an instant – all the pre-match pzazz of booming music and orchestrated pyrotechnics, the meticulously-planned, multi-coloured displays in the curving stands behind each goal, the ding-dong of a rip-roaring first 37 minutes, the crunch of tackles and the din of the crowd.
Up went the board signalling six added minutes, which was one less than the game had been stopped for; but which was still plenty time for Celtic to create and take the chance that sealed the deal.
Boyata was on the ball, barracked by pointless pantomime boos from the west end of the ground. More to the point, no one matched the run of Ryan Christie from left to centre which the Belgian found with a perfectly-clipped pass.
Christie did better still to react quickest and poke the rebound high into the net.