02.12.2021 23:07 h

Furuhashi fires Celtic to Hearts victory

Kyogo Furuhashi's controversial strike gave Celtic a 1-0 win against Hearts as they closed the gap on Scottish Premiership leaders Rangers on Thursday.

Furuhashi benefitted from a tight offside call that went his way as the Japan forward converted Anthony Ralston's cross at Parkhead.

Referee Bobby Madden allowed the first half goal to stand even though it seemed Furuhashi may have been marginally offside.

The victory took Celtic back to four points behind their Glasgow rivals Rangers after the champions won 1-0 at Hibernian 24 hours earlier.

Hearts had an early let-off after David Turnbull robbed Cammy Devlin.

Craig Gordon spilled Jota's resulting shot but James Forrest stabbed the loose ball against the post from close range.

Gordon tipped Callum McGregor's deflected effort wide, but Celtic's pressure paid off in dubious fashion in the 33rd minute.

Ralston drilled in a cross which Furuhashi turned home at the near post and Hearts' offside appeals were in vain.

Hearts defender Stephen Kingsley had a brilliant chance when he ran untracked to the near post to meet Barrie McKay's corner but his header flashed past the far post.

McKay had an effort saved and set up both Liam Boyce and Craig Halkett for chances, the former fluffing his first opportunity and the defender heading wide.

Forrest had a great chance to wrap up the points in the 84th minute when he was played in by Furuhashi but Gordon saved well.

Gary Mackay-Steven looked set to equalise in the closing stages, but he stumbled and McKay shot just wide from the loose ball.

Hearts manager Robbie Neilson was booked as he remonstrated with the officials, claiming Mackay-Steven had his heel clipped.