STV Sport sponsored by Papa Johns

Furuhashi scores twice as Celtic beat Hibs to win the League Cup

Paul Hanlon put Hibs ahead but Celtic bounced back to win the final.

Furuhashi scores twice as Celtic beat Hibs to win the League Cup SNS Group

Kyogo Furuhashi scored twice as Celtic came from behind to beat Hibs 2-1 and win the Premier Sports Cup.

Paul Hanlon had put Hibs in front at Hampden but the Japanese forward equalised for Celtic and then scored the winner to give manager Ange Postecoglou and his players winners medals in the first final of the season

Celtic had been handed a major boost ahead of kick-off when striker Furuhashi was included in the starting line-up after weeks out with a hamstring injury and Mikey Johnston also returned to the team, while David Gray altered his line-up to replace the injured Chris Cadden with Jamie Murphy.

Hibs were looking to recapture the form that saw them beat Rangers 3-1 in the semi-final while Celtic were on a run where only Bayer Leverkusen had beaten the Glasgow side in 16 games.

Celtic had the better of the early play with Johnstone cutting inside to flash a shot high and wide, then, 14 minutes in, a desperate intervention from Paul Hanlon cleared the ball off the line after Liel Abada looked certain to score, though the flag was already up against the Celtic wide man.

Advertisement

Hanlon then had a half-chance at the other end, getting his head to a Joe Newell free kick but unable to test Joe Hart.

Celtic suffered a blow after 25 minutes when David Turnbull pulled up with what appeared to be a hamstring injury and after treatment on the pitch he was replaced by Nir Bitton.

Referee John Beaton became involved just after the half hour mark, booking Josip Juranovic and then Jake Doyle-Hayes in separate incidents.

Kevin Nisbet went into the book just before half-time for a foul on Bitton but Juranovic couldn’t direct the free kick on target and the break came without either side having found a breakthrough.

The final exploded into life five minutes after the restart. Martin Boyle’s header was deep to the back post and Hibs captain Hanlon raced in to head it over the line with Hart and Juranovic trying desperately to clear it.

Celtic’s response was instant. Furuhashi got clear of both Hanlon and Ryan Porteous to control a ball from deep and guide a shot past Macey and into the back of the net.

Advertisement

Hibs had an opportunity to retake the lead when Kevin Nisbet seized on a mistake from Carl Starfelt and then bamboozled the Celtic defender before Hart raced out to block.

Celtic took the lead in the 72nd minute and they had another moment of magic from Furuhashi to thank for it. The forward darted clear of his marker to latch on to a ball over the top from Tom Rogic and he let it bounce once before lobbing it over Macey and into the goal.

Hibs introduced Scott Allan in the hope of unlocking the Celtic defence, and with eight minutes to go, Celtic made a double substitution with Johnston going off injured and Furuhashi withdrawn. Liam Scales and Owen Moffat came on as Celtic looked to hold their advantage.

Rogic forced Macey into a low save, and Hibs then had a glorious opportunity as Hanlon shot wildly after Nisbet had headed off the post.

Five minutes of additional time was allocated and Hibs chased an equaliser but despite a late scramble in the box Celtic stayed firm to lift the trophy for the 20th time.

HTTP_HOST: news.stv.tv ISSET_HTTP_HOST: 1