St Johnstone skipper Jason Kerr struggled to take in the scale of their historic result in Istanbul but he quickly set his sights on finishing the job in Perth.
Kerr gave Saints the lead from the penalty spot against Galatasaray before the hosts levelled two minutes later to leave the Europa League tie finely poised at 1-1 ahead of next Thursday’s second leg at McDiarmid Park.
It was the first penalty Kerr had scored during a senior game, although he did thump home from 12 yards in the shootout as Saints knocked Rangers out of the Scottish Cup in April.
There was a long delay as Galatasaray brought on their substitute goalkeeper after Fernando Muslera had been sent off for hauling down Chris Kane.
But the centre-back kept his cool to find the corner and Saints will to hold their nerve again when they host the former UEFA Cup winners next week.
“I have been wanting to take penalties for ages now,” the 24-year-old told Saints TV. “Me and the gaffer had a conversation on Wednesday and he agreed.
“I just made sure I hit the target. If the goalie saves a penalty that’s going 50-60 miles per hour then fair enough.
“But obviously it was a good feeling, to go 1-0 up against Galatasaray in Istanbul is crazy to think about.
“But the job is not done, if we can beat them in Perth it would be massive for the club.
“I’m just sad the fans couldn’t have been there to watch us but I’m sure they were buzzing watching it from home.
“All the boys are buzzing but we all know the job’s not done yet, we’ve still got a job to do.
“We wanted to take a good result back to Perth and we have done that. We have put ourselves in a really good position against one of the top sides in Europe. What a result this has been for us.
“You saw how hard the boys worked throughout the game, every man on the pitch was amazing.”
The result continued the most extraordinary year in the club’s history after collecting the League Cup and Scottish Cup to treble their entire haul of major honours inside the space of three months.
“Our season just doesn’t stop,” said Kerr, whose side host Motherwell in the cinch Premiership on Sunday.
“It was amazing last season but it just feels like we are getting better and better.”
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