That Man Again: Brilliant Kyogo Double Wins Celtic The Premier Sports Cup

Celtic had to come from behind to see off Hibernian on Sunday
16:56, 19 Dec 2021

Free-scoring forwards are worth their weight in gold. And Celtic have just that in Kyogo Furuhashi. On Sunday, he was worth his weight in silverware too, with two superb second-half goals securing a come-from-behind 2-1 win over Hibernian to clinch the Premier Sports Cup at Hampden Park.

This was a game that didn’t all go Celtic’s way, and when Paul Hanlon headed home the opener for Hibs shortly after half-time it appeared that the first trophy of the Scottish domestic season was heading to Easter Road.

But that was where Furuhashi came into his own, immediately responding with his 15th goal of the season and then netting a wonderful winner to take the cup back to Parkhead for the fifth time in six years.

Ange Postecoglou’s first major triumph since taking charge of Celtic in the summer was the latest example of just how important Kyogo has become to the Hoops’ cause.

Celtic were hit by a blow midway through the first half, with an emotional David Turnbull being forced to limp off and Nir Bitton coming on in his place. And for as much as they dominated the vast majority of the first half, Hibs were holding them out well and would arguably have been the happier side by the break.

And they appeared to be in wonderland five minutes into the second half when skipper Hanlon showed great desire to outstrip Carl Starfelt and head past Joe Hart and the covering Josip Juranovic despite both scrambling to attempt to keep it out.

Within seconds, though, Celtic were level. Furuhashi escaped in behind the Hibs defensive line with Hanlon struggling and took a great touch before slotting home under Matt Macey. Hibs had led for 72 seconds.

There was more to come from the Japanese front man, and his winner was a work of absolute genius. Tom Rogic took a free-kick quickly, finding Furuhashi in space and again advancing beyond the Hibernian back line. And, having taken the slightest of glances at the onrushing Macey, Kyogo superbly lifted the ball over the goalkeeper with his first touch and wheeled away in celebration as his effort dropped perfectly under the bar and into the empty net.

With Hibs throwing everything at Celtic late on there appeared to be a decent penalty shout as Ryan Porteous was on the end of a two-handed push by Starfelt, but when the ball broke free Hanlon blazed over the bar and John Beaton was not interested in awarding Hibernian a penalty. And deep in injury time Hart did brilliantly to deny Joe Newell a dramatic leveller.

At the final whistle there was jubilation among the Celtic contingent for their 20th League Cup success in club history. For Postecoglou, this is the first bit of hardware since arriving at Celtic Park. And with Furuhashi leading the charge, you wouldn’t back against there being more to follow for the Australian manager.

CELTIC 6/4 TO WIN SPFL - BETFRED*

*18+ | BeGambleAware

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