19.12.2021 18:48 h

Furuhashi at the double as Celtic win Scottish League Cup final

Kyogo Furuhashi scored twice as Celtic came from behind to beat Hibernian 2-1 in the Scottish League Cup final on Sunday, winning their first trophy of the Ange Postecoglou era.

The game burst to life after a cagey first half during which Celtic's David Turnbull hobbled off with an injury.

Skipper Paul Hanlon headed Hibs into a 51st-minute lead with his side's first effort on target but Japan forward Furuhashi, returning from a hamstring injury, levelled 60 seconds later after getting beyond the Hibs defence to meet a lofted ball from Callum McGregor.

The speedy striker netted in similar circumstances in the 72nd minute when he brought down a quickly taken free-kick from Tom Rogic and lobbed Hibs goalkeeper Matt Macey for his 16th goal for Celtic this season.

The Celtic fans, who had no silverware to celebrate last season, chanted Postecoglou's name in the final stages and they survived some late scares as the former Australia manager delivered silverware at the first time of asking.

"From the moment I arrived, I've had my head down," Postecoglou told the BBC. "I've done the things I believed would set this club back on the track it should be on.

"This isn't a club that should go years without any trophies.

"My first task when I took the role was to give the fans hope. I couldn't guarantee success, but I could give them hope. I feel privileged to be part of this football club."

The game livened up immediately after the interval. Hanlon made an excellent sliding block on Furuhashi before opening the scoring moments later. The defender held off Carl Starfelt to head in Martin Boyle's corner.

Hampden was shrouded in green smoke when Celtic instantly levelled. The Hibs defence were looking for an offside flag while Furuhashi slotted a left-footed shot inside Macey's near post.

The winner came after Hanlon was penalised for catching Liel Abada with his arm in an aerial challenge just inside the Celtic half. Rogic spotted the opportunity and sent the ball over the Hibs defence for Furuhashi to lob Macey with his right foot.