The Parkhead club booked their place in the group stage of the Champions League for the second successive season after overturning a 2-0 first leg deficit against Shakhter Karagandy.
Only seconds stood between Neil Lennon's team and 30 minutes of extra-time before James Forrest reacted instinctively to steer Anthony Stokes' cutback into the roof of the goal from 10 yards out, triggering jubilant celebrations on the pitch, in the stands and on the touchline.
And as much as the £15million windfall it brings is worth shouting about, the scenes around Celtic Park were not inspired by the cash banked, but of sheer jubilation that the club will once again get to mix it with the very best European football has to offer.
Celtic enjoyed many a memorable night in last season's Champions League, with wins over Spartak Moscow - both home and away - while also humbling Spanish giants Barca obvious highlights.
However. Matthews reckons knocking out the plucky Kazakhs is on a par with those historic Euro nights.
"I think it's definitely up there with the Barcelona game," said Matthews. "It has been hard for us because we have had to go through three qualifiers just to get into the group stage but we have showed great team spirit.
"I do think it is a fabulous achievement. We have had it hard but I don't think we can complain."
The Welshman also revealed that Georgios Samaras, who played out of his skin last night and chipped in with a goal just after the break, bucked orders of where he was meant to be playing.
The Greek internationalist sat on the left flank and Matthews said: "He was supposed to be the second striker but he likes to drift onto that side.
"But there was no-one complaining. I thought he was outstanding."
Matthews himself played a crucial part with one hooked clearance off the line shortly after Celtic had levelled the tie.
Had that gone in, Celtic would have had to find another two goals to go through.
As it was, they prevailed and Matthews believes the Hoops defence deserved their clean sheet.
"I was just in the right place at the right time, but we deserved to win the game," said Matthews.
"I think we showed everyone that we were the better team.
"We didn't defend well over there in the first leg but we showed enough going forward to give us a lot of hope.
"We always felt as though a goal in the first-half would change the tie and we got it just before the break, I think it made them a bit nervous.
"Everyone wrote us off but we felt a lot of the flak after the first-leg was unjustified. The celebrations over there were a bit premature but they gave us a bit of motivation."
The clock is ticking now as Lennon strives to enhance his squad before the transfer window shuts on Saturday night.
"I'll leave all of that to the manager," said Matthews. "I'm just delighted we are going to be in the Champions League again this season. It was a great adventure last year."