Soccer-Celtic tighten grip on top spot as Furuhashi torments Rangers in 3-2 win

April 09, 2023 01:42 AM AEST | By Reuters
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GLASGOW, Scotland (Reuters) - Scottish Premiership leaders Celtic beat Rangers 3-2 in the Old Firm clash to move 12 points clear of their rivals at the top as Kyogo Furuhashi scored twice at Celtic Park on Saturday.

The Japanese forward took his tally to five goals against Celtic's arch rivals this season in a gripping match.

After both sides had a goal ruled out in the opening stages, Furuhashi opened the scoring in the 26th minute when he received the ball in the box from Matt O'Riley, turned on the spot and fired past 41-year-old goalkeeper Allan McGregor.

There were no Rangers fans at the game after both clubs agreed tickets would not be sold to travelling supporters for the last two derbies of the season amid safety concerns, with about 60,000 Celtic followers creating a hostile atmosphere.

Rangers skipper James Tavernier silenced the home crowd on the stroke of halftime, however, when they won a free kick and the right back curled a stunning effort that flew in off the underside of the bar as the teams went in level at the break.

But Furuhashi, who scored twice in February's League Cup final win over Rangers, was tormentor-in-chief again just past the hour when the defence failed to clear and the Japanese forward fired a low shot home for his 28th goal of the season.

Celtic's Jota capitalised on a poor John Souttar back pass before rounding the keeper to make it 3-1 in the 73rd. Tavernier then got one back six minutes later with a header at the far post -- his 100th goal for the club -- to set up a tense finish.

But Celtic held on for their 11th straight victory in the Premiership as Ange Postecoglou's side moved up to 88 points from 31 games ahead of second-placed Rangers on 76.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editign by Ken Ferris)


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