STV Sport sponsored by Papa Johns

Celtic cup-winning goalscorer Kyogo Furuhashi ‘just had to play’

Japan international was an injury doubt for the Hampden showpiece, but started the game and scored twice.

Celtic cup-winning goalscorer Kyogo Furuhashi ‘just had to play’ SNS Group

Celtic striker Kyogo Furuhashi admitted he felt compelled to play in Sunday’s League Cup final despite fitness concerns.

The Japan international had missed the previous two games with a hamstring issue but made himself available at Hampden amid a lack of natural alternatives at centre-forward.

The gamble paid off handsomely as Furuhashi struck twice as Celtic came from behind to win 2-1.

The 26-year-old told Celtic’s website: “I wasn’t 100 per cent going into the match after the injury but I just had to play. I had to.

“I could not miss it. I knew what an important match it was for us all and I wanted to be part of it and give as much as I could.

“The atmosphere was so good and it was a joy to play out there in such a big match in front of a full crowd, it really was something special and one of the great moments of my career so far – but I hope, of course, there are some more days like this.”

Furuhashi twice ran beyond the Hibs defence to collect balls over the top and finish in style, but was quick to praise Callum McGregor and Tom Rogic for their assists.

“It’s nice to score the goals but everything we do, we do it together as a team and I need to say that the passes I received from Callum and Tom were fantastic,” he said.

“I know it is my job to find the net but any forward needs support and to receive great assists like that makes my job a bit easier.

“You want to be a footballer and play football for days like yesterday, to be part of these moments when all our hard work comes together and we get the rewards through this kind of success.

“I thought we deserved the win and to come out on top with the trophy we are just all really happy.

“It is just a brilliant feeling to be part of this team and win my first trophy with Celtic and I am delighted for everyone at the club, the manager, our staff and all our supporters.”