Hoops' Hampden glory
Kyogo at the double to land first trophy for Postecoglou
Triumph: Celtic celebrate (pic: SNS Group)
Scottish League Cup Final
Hibernian 1 Celtic 2
Ange Postecoglou’s first trophy for Celtic was made in Japan after Kyogo Furuhashi’s two goals saw off Hibs in the Scottish League Cup Final.
The 26-year-old netted two fine strikes in the second half after Paul Hanlon had headed the Edinburgh side in front six minutes after the restart.
The summer signing from Vissel Kobe had been an injury doubt prior to the match but came to his side’s rescue in stunning style.
“This football club and him were a match made in heaven,” said the Hoops boss. “He’s a fantastic player but what a person. He just had it in his mind he was going to play.
“I feel a responsibility with him because I am the one who brought him here.
“You are bringing someone from the other side of the world and I don’t think anyone would have said he was a cast-iron guarantee to be a hit for a lot of people. I knew he would be a fantastic player and he is an even better person.
“From the moment he picked up the injury there was no way he was not going to play today, irrespective of what I was saying or the medical team were saying. He wasn’t 100% but I knew he would play.
“To have that composure in such a big game – they are two world class finishes in a big game.
“He knows that everyone is watching him and that’s one of the challenges we had. We are missing some significant talent at the moment, but these boys keep finding a way.
“It’s not pressure. It’s what I want. It’s why you accept this position. You don’t accept this position to shy away from creating special things. We’re still at the beginning. We want to enjoy this as the players have been through an awful lot and risen to every challenge including today. We just want to keep going.”
The Hibees are set to appoint Shaun Maloney as Jack Ross’ successor and his first job will be to lift the players’ spirits after their Hampden disappointment.
Interim boss David Gray said: “There will be a change moving forward now that the game’s done. We’ll dust ourselves down and I’m sure the powers that be will know exactly what direction we’ll be moving in.
“I absolutely want to stay in. I’m still contracted to Hibernian Football Club. I love working for the club. It’s somewhere I’ve been now for a long time and until I’m told otherwise, I’m delighted to be here.”
Hibs: Macey, McGinn, Porteous, Hanlon, Stevenson (Doig, 81), Newell, Doyle-Hayes, Boyle, Campbell (Allan, 73), Murphy (Doidge, 81), Nisbet.
Celtic: Hart, Juranovic, Carter-Vickers, Starfelt, Taylor (Ralston, 75), McGregor, Abada, Rogic, Turnbull (Bitton, 27), Johnson (Scales, 83), Furuhashi (Moffat, 83).
Goals: Hibs – Hanlon (51); Celtic – Kyogo (52, 72).