Celtic defeated despite first-half Maeda hat-trick in Yokohama goal-fest

The Japan international forward hit a 45-minute hat-trick against his former club.

First-half hat-trick for Maeda in Yokohama goal-fest as Celtic lose ten-goal thriller SNS Group

Daizen Maeda scored a first-half hat-trick on his homecoming return to Yokohama as Celtic were defeated in a ten-goal thriller against Yoko Marinos.

The Japan forward started through the middle as Brendan Rodgers’ side lost 6-4 to the J-League champions on Wednesday.

The friendly followed two behind closed-doors games at their Portugal training camp.

Maeda scored a stunning 45 minute treble to put the Hoops 3-2 up at the break against his former club in the first game in Hoops’ pre-season tour of Japan.

Marinos scored first after an error from Joe Hart in the opening minutes of the game, but Maeda levelled from close-range just moments later following good work from Hatate and Liel Abada.

Abada got another assist as Celtic made it 2-1 before the home side equalised to make it 2-2 with only 20 minutes gone.

Maeda completed his hat-trick on the 40 minute mark when he turned in a cross from Tomoki Iwata with an inch-perfect finish.

The goal-fest continued in the second-half when J-League top scorer Anderson Lopes scored his second of the game following a mistake by Carl Starfelt to make it 3-3 on the hour mark.

And it was the J-league side, who are managed by former Rangers defender Kevin Muscat, who got the seventh goal of the game to make it 4-3 with just over 20 minutes remaining.

The game then lost a bit of an edge as both sides made several changes, including nine from Celtic, and the goals started to dry up at the Nissan stadium.

A good chance fell to Oh after a great ball in from James Forrest on the right-hand side, but the South Korean forward was unable to get a good connection on it and was claiming for a penalty, but his protests were waved away by the referee.

The game was put beyond the Scottish champions when Marinos made it 5-3 and then 6-3 with a late quick fire double in the last five minutes.

David Turnbull pulled one-back in the final stages in what was to be the last bit of action in the game that ended 6-4.

Next up for the Hoops is a game against Gamba Osaka before they travel to Ireland for a game against Wolves in Dublin as they continue their preparations for the Premiership opener against Ross County next month.

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