MATCHWINNER Filipe Jota shared the joy after his header downed Ibrox opposition yesterday to set up a Scottish Cup Final against Inverness Caley Thistle at Hampden on Saturday June 3.
It was the Portuguese maverick who claimed the strike that catapulted the champions into what has all the signs of being a treble-winning crescendo to a second memorable campaign under manager Ange Postecoglou.
The Hoops need one win from their remaining five league games to lift their second successive crown and they can stage their own coronation as undisputed kings of Scottish soccer when they play Hearts at Tynecastle on Sunday.
SMILE AMONG THE SCOWLS…matchwinner Filipe Jota celebrates in front of the disgruntled Ibrox support.
The challenges keep on coming for Jota and Co and the former Benfica kid is thriving on the responsibility of delivering for the team and the support.
Looking at the tense tussle at the national stadium, the fans’ favourite said: “We’re very, very pleased with this win. I thought the boys put in an amazing shift again.
“We came with all of our strengths and we achieved our goal, which was the victory, to get to the Final. So, I’m thrilled with everything that is happening right now in this football club and I hope we can continue the run.
“It’s always special to play in these games and these are the ones where you always learn the most, that we feel the most and we just want to feel alive.
“So, whenever you get the opportunity to go out there and play against this kind of team, that makes you be the best version of yourself, it’s always really important. We just want to keep on doing this.
“Regarding the goal, it’s just feeling the moment and being in the right place at the right time to do it.
HEADING FOR GLORY…Filipe Jota makes perfect contact with the cross from Daizen Maeda (on ground, left).
STRANDED…keeper Allan McGregor and Ben Davies can only watch in dismay as Filipe Jota prepares to race away in triumph.
PICK IT OUT…Filipe Jota’s header thumps into the net.
CUP FINAL, HERE WE COME…Filipe Jota runs away to begin his celebrations as the Ibrox defenders have that sinking feeling.
“It’s a great emotion for me, but I know this came from a lot of hard work. We are like a unit, so we’re all together on this in order for me to score – someone has to cross it, someone had to steal the ball before then.
“So, it’s all in one and I’m just so happy to be part of this team with amazing lads and amazing staff and I just keep on going.”
Cameron Carter-Vickers, playing in his final game of the campaign before undergoing surgery on a knee problem, was rightly named Man of the Match for a superhuman performance in the heart of the Hoops rearguard.
Jota, speaking to Celtic TV, continued: “That shows a lot of what we can do because we know we can’t always be attacking and in possession.
“We aim for that, that’s our goal, of course, but sometimes we need to acknowledge that we need to struggle and defend.
“But that’s good as well because very good teams, the best teams in the world, if they manage to be comfortable in this and then just allow themselves to go and counter-attack and be ruthless, that’s really important.
“So, that’s what we try to do.”
Now the focus switches to the Premiership prize and Jota added: “As a Celtic player and be in this amazing group, we always aim for the trophies.
“But we know that in order to achieve that, we’ve had to work hard since day one and that’s what we’ve been doing since the beginning of the season.
“Now we’re just collecting the fruits that we planted before and it’s just another game next week, and then another one and another one until the end of the season.
“So, we don’t stop!”