ANGE POSTECOGLOU and his Celtic players are 90 minutes away from ensuring the club do not suffer a second grim trophyless season.
The Hoops endured their first campaign without silverware success in 11 years last time out when their bid for the historic 10 in a row came off the rails in inexplicable fashion with both domestic Cups also also being relinquished. Amid the rubble of a wretched crusade, Neil Lennon departed the club in February.
However, James Forrest, on the pitch for four minutes after replacing Liel Abada, thumped in the winner against holders St Johnstone in the Premier Sports League Cup to set up a return to Hampden for the grand finale on Sunday December 19.
TEN OUT OF TEN…the Celtic players participate in the minute’s round of applause for legend Bertie Auld.
Postecoglou led a new-look team to wins over Hearts (3-2) and Raith Rovers (3-0) in the earlier rounds before knocking out the battling Perth outfit yesterday.
Christmas could come early this year for the Greek-Australian gaffer, his players and the Celtic supporters.
And the dismal memories of last season can be banished to the dark and distant past.
CQN‘s team of ace snappers were at the national stadium to capture the action. Here is the best of the images.
THE HOOPS HAMPDEN HUDDLE FOR BERTIE…the Celtic players, all wearing the No.10 shorts of Lisbon Lion Bertie Auld, prepare for the League Cup semi-final.
CRUNCH…Anthony Ralston and Saints striker Chris Kane duel for a loose ball.
AIR FORCE ONE…Cameron Carter-Vickers rises to flick on a header with Kyogo Furuhashi waiting to pounce.
AIR FORCE TWO…Cameron Carter-Vickers tries his luck again from another set-play with Kyogo Furuhashi once more menacing the Perth rearguard.
GETTING DOWN TO BUSINESS…Anthony Ralston sees his header blocked by Saints defender Jamie McCart.
ON THE RUN…David Turnbull, watched by skipper Callum McGregor, takes on Perth defender Shaun Rooney.
HAIL, HAIL WEE BERTIE…the Celtic support’s colourful tribute to Bertie Auld in the 67th minute.
THE BIG NOISE…James Forrest and Callum McGregor yell in glee as the winger nets the Hampden winner.
WIDE BHOY…James Forrest celebrates with the Celtic support.
THE LOOK OF A WINNER…Ange Postecoglou celebrates at full-time.
UP IN THE AIR…Nir Bitton throws his jersey to a lucky young Celtic fan.
CLAP HANDS, HERE COME THE BHOYS…Callum McGregor leads his Celtic team-mates in appreciation of the backing of the full-throttle Hoops support.
WHOOPING IT UP…Kyogo Furuhashi, Ismaila Soro, Anthony Ralston, Stephen Welsh and Mikey Johnston dance with delight at the end of the 1-0 Hampden triumph. The masked stranger refrains from joining in.