CELTIC keeper Josh Clarke saved FOUR penalty-kicks in a nerve-shredding shoot-out as Celtic’s youngsters overcame their Ibrox counterparts in the Glasgow Cup Final last night.
The Hoops were 3-0 ahead at one stage with a double from Adam Brooks and one from Rocco Vata before they were stunned by a fightback from their city rivals that forced the silverware encounter straight into a spot-kick shoot-out in Govan.
With Ange Postecoglou watching from the stand, the young Celts were actually behind after Ben Summers blazed his penalty wildly over the bar.
ON THE SPOT…goalkeeper hero Josh Clarke acclaimed his Hoops team-mates after the Glasgow Cup Final triumph at Ibrox. Image courtesy Celtic TV.
It was Clarke, 18, signed from Glenavon last summer, who came to the rescue with crucial stops which set up Barry Corr to win it for the visitors. However, he sent his effort hammering off the crossbar and it was down to the Northern Ireland No.1 to display his talents again.
Ibrox skipper Robbie Fraser saw his kick well saved and then Corey Thomson calmly sent keeper Lewis Budinauckas the wrong way to clinch the trophy for the Hoops teenagers.
Spot-kick hero Clarke played down his part in the 4-3 penalty success and, instead, praised his team-mates who took their kicks – oncluding the players who failed.
The shotstopper, speaking to Celtic TV, said: “Fair play to all the boys who stepped up, even the ones who missed, for having the bottle to take a kick.
“It was a big team performance, everyone worked really hard during the game although we probably should have won it in normal time.
“But, of course, delighted to win the trophy. It was good to put on that performance, a big team effort and delighted to get it over the line.”
Postecoglou would have been impressed by Clarke, but Vata, who has already made a handful of first-team appearances in recent times, and double scorer Brooks must have also taken his eye.
The champions can complete a quickfire hat-trick at the same venue on Saturday if they win to follow last night’s success and the 6-5 victory in the Youth Cup Final last week.