CRACKSHOT Kyogo Furuhashi fired Celtic into the world record books at Hampden this evening.

The non-stop Japanese striker is the club’s Cup Final talisman as he struck for the third time in a soccer showpiece – and once again the Hoops paraded the silverware at the conclusion.

Kyogo, who was the matchwinner in successive League Cups against Hibs and Rangers, walloped Ange Postecoglou’s men into the lead before half-time to propel the Parkhead side into the Hall of Fame.

Liel Abada and Filipe Jota added the other strikes as Celtic claimed the Scottish Cup to seal a record eighth treble – a truly amazing sequence of silverware honours that cannot be matched anywhere else on the planet.

FINAL SAY…Kyogo Furuhashi thunders in the opening goal to set Celtic on their way to the history books.

It wasn’t a classic and credit to the Championship side who were not just there to make up the numbers. However, the relentless and ruthless manner of the champions got the job done again.

Five out of six trophies for Postecoglou since he inherited the shambles of a team in June 2021 is testimony to the attitude of the manager.

The Hoops were strangely subdued in the opening half-hour with rival keeper Mark Ridgers a virtual spectator while Reo Hatate, in the middle of the park, and Tomoki Iwata, at the back, attempted to find their range of passes.

As expected, Billy Dodds’ men closed down space and snapped into tackles. The champions were sloppy on occasion and that was highlighted in the 22nd minute when Filipe Jota and Hatate weren’t on the same radar and an excellent chance was lost.

UP FOR THE CUP…Daizen Maeda in a tussle for possession.

There was a scare earlier when Jay Henderson was released through the middle by a clever ball from Scott Allardyce, but Joe Hart was quick to spot the danger and he came out to clear to the relief of Carl Starfelt and Iwata who had been caught on their heels.

Matt O’Riley was guilty of taking too many touches which invited opponents to delve into challenges which continually disrupted the cohesion and rhythm of the Hoops.

Ange Postecoglou stood on the touchline with only a weary shake of his head every now and again displaying his frustration.

Attacks were breaking down at Daizen Maeda, returning to the team after missing the 5-0 win over Aberdeen a week ago through suspension. The Japanese winger surrendered possession on too many occasions to be comfortable for his manager.

BREAKTHROUGH…Kyogo Furuhashi whips the first goal past keeper Mark Ridgers as Matt O’Riley races away after setting up the opener.

In the 38th minute, Celtic produced a moment of quality – and claimed the breakthrough goal.

Alistair Johnston accepted a pass from Iwata and rolled a ball in front of O’Riley on the right of the penalty area and on this occasion the midfielder did not dwell on the ball.

He whipped a low cross into the box and Kyogo Furuhashi, the master marksman and the Hampden talisman, timed his run to absolute perfection and first-timed a ferocious effort from eight yards that simply ripped high into the net with Ridgers helpless.

The lightning-swift raider, snapping up his 34th goal of a prolific campaign, had hardly been seen until that moment and he introduced himself to proceedings in the best possible fashion.

HOOP, HOOP, HOORAY…Kyogo Furuhashi, Matt O’Riley and Callum McGregor celebrate the opening goal against Caley Thistle.

In fact, Kyogo should have claimed a second three minutes later when Hatate picked him out with an angled pass. The lively hitman stepped away from Robbie Deas, but his attempted effort off the utside of his right foot flew waywardly wide of the keeper’s right-hand upright.

Given the penalty-box pedigree of the frontman, it was an extraordinary miss.

Postecoglou made a change at the start of the interval with Liel Abada replacing Maeda who appeared to have taken a knock which would have contributed to the Japanese international flyer’s sequence of wasteful touches in the opening period.

The Israeli took over the right-wing slot while Jota switched to the opposite flank.

NUMBER TWO…Liel Abada doubles the advantage after a superb pass from skipper Callum McGregor (extreme right).

A promising break in the 50th minute by Jota produced nothing when too many passes in an exchange with Hatate and O’Riley and the relieved Highlanders’ defence booted the ball to safety.

In the 58th minute, Kyogo, who had struggled to make the game after last week’s injury against Aberdeen, departed the action to be replaced by South Korean international Oh Hyeon-gyu.

It had been a mighty effort from the fans’ favourite who had shown the way to his team-mates with the all-imprtant barrier-breaking strike.

Seven minutes after Oh’s introduction, Celtic doubled their advantage following a breathtaking raid with skipper Callum McGregor playing a pivotal role.

The anchorman took a fast free-kick to Jota, overlapped on the left to take the return before zipping over a cross into the danger zone and there was Abada getting in ahead of friend and foe to tuck the ball into the inviting net.

NUMBER THREE…grounded Filipe Jota claims the third goal to seal the history-making triumph.

The Celtic players and fans had to wait until the goal was reviewed by VAR, but their cheers greeted the correct decison as Postecoglou thought about introducing some more of his talented substitutes.

David Turnbull and Sead Haksabanovic came on for Hatate and O’Riley in the 76th minute and only moments later the Montenegro international winger fired a right-foot drive just over the crossbar.

The Hoops switched off momentarily and were made to pay in the 82nd minute when the Highlanders managed to pull one back.

Wallace Duffy delivered a superb pass from the right which caught Iwata totally unprepared and Daniel Mackay threw himself full-length to bullet an unstoppable header beyond the sprawling Hart.

HAIL! HAIL! Callum McGregor holds aloft the Scottish Cup as Celtic celebrate their world-record eighth treble at Hampden. 

With a minute to go, McGregor set up Haksabanovic at an angle and his shot was deflected to safety by the right foot of Ridgers.

Jota had more luck in the fading moments when Abada whipped over a right-wing cross, the Portuguese ace took the ball on his chest before drilling a low drive into the net.

Game over! Jota was replaced immediately by the evergreen Forrest to see out the fading moments.

It was another glorious occasion for Celtic in the sunshine of Hampden.

TEAM: Hart; Johnston, Iwata, Starfelt, Taylor; Hatate (sub: Turnbull 76), McGregor, O’Riley (sub: Haksabanovic 76); Jota (sub: Forrest 92), Kyogo (sub: Oh 58), Maeda (sub: Abada 46).
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