CELTIC’S World Cup Four deserve a massive round of applause with all of the club’s representatives in Qatar reaching the last 16 of the soccer showpiece.
The phenomenal feat has been achieved by Daizen Maeda (Japan), Josip Juranovic (Croatia), Cameron Carter-Vickers (USA) and Aaron Mooy (Australia).
The colossal quartet have done the champions, manager Ange Postecoglou, their team-mates and the supporters proud with their mighty efforts in the Middle East.
HAIL, HAIL…Daizen Maeda and his Japanese team-mates on a lap of honour during their World Cup exploits.
HAIL, HAIL…Josip Juranovic and Croatia take a bow as they head for the last 16.
Unfortunately, one of the Hoops’ stars will have to leave the global stage in the next round with Maeda and Juranovic going head to head on Monday afternoon with a 3pm kick-off.
The pacy frontman figured hugely in the remarkable 2-1 victory over Spain last night that sealed pole position in Group E, going through with the beaten Spaniards while Germany slumped out of the tournament on goal difference despite a 4-2 win over Costa Rica.
Maeda had also played the first 57 minutes of his nation’s stunning comeback 2-1 triumph against the Germans in their opening game in the soccer extravaganza.
Juranovic powered up and down the right in his usual determined fashion as Croatia drew 0-0 with Belgium who exited the competition in which they were third four years ago.
Morocco enjoyed a 2-1 win over Canada – with Hoops target Alistair Johnston in the side – to claim top place in Group F with seven points to the Croatians’ five.
HAIL, HAIL…Cameron Carter-Vickers is his usual unflappable self after the USA’s 1-0 triumph over Iran.
HAIL HAIL…Aaron Mooy celebrates Australia’s dramatic victory over Denmark.
That set up Monday’s meeting with either Maeda or Juranovic saying farewell to the glittering trophy – but, looking on the positive side, one of the Celts will definitely be involved in the quarter-finals.
Rock-solid Carter-Vickers, in his debut in the competition, became the first Hoops performer to book his place in the knock-out round after a faultless display in the United States’ 1-0 success against Iran on Tuesday.
Now he will go up against former Hoops fans’ favourite Virgil van Dijk and the Netherlands tomorrow afternoon.
Midfield anchorman Mooy has been immense in the Socceroos’ three games in Group D and now faces Lionel Messi and Argentina tomorrow with a 7pm start.
CQN and our many readers, all Celtic fans and neutrals, too, of course, wish the Hoops Four the best of fortune as they once again take centre stage in football’s most prestigious competition.