Celtic comfortably reached the Scottish Cup quarter final with a 0-2 win over Inverness Caledonian Thistle this afternoon but the home team will rue two moments of suicidal defending which gifted Celtic the important chances. Georgios Samaras put his laces through the ball to score from a tight angle before Scott Brown converted a penalty after Gary Hooper created a chance from nothing.
Hooper tried a cocky back heal early on after creating a chance for himself but Inverness keeper Tuffey blocked. Nick Ross was first to test Fraser Forster with a shot from the 18 yard line but the keeper dived to his bottom right to turn the ball round the post. Meekings had a good chance from the resultant corner but Kelvin Wilson blocked.
Kris Commons started his first game in over two months and could have converted but missed his shot after Hooper cut back from the goal line. Samaras and Commons then combined well to setup Hooper for a shot from the edge of the box that was saved by Tuffey.
The opening goal arrived after 33 minutes when Commons played a forward pass from deep which Ross Tokely should have cleared but didn’t make a clean contact on, allowing Georgios Samaras to run clean through and thunder an unstoppable shot from a tight angle high into the net.
Five minutes after the break Matthews, Brown, Commons and Hooper combined in the best move of the game before Hooper crossed but Samaras shot from 6 yards flew over. Moments later Samaras had a chance from even closer when Ledley crossed from the left but he could not turn his attempt from three yards goal-wards.
The Greek striker was continually a threat and got on the end of a Mulgrew free kick to head from 12 yards but the attack was temporarily cleared. Gary Hooper collected at the corner of the box and passed deep to where he thought Scott Brown was but on seeing Brown was elsewhere the Englishman chased after the ball and robbed Proctor on the line. The Inverness defender then tripped Hooper as he closed in on goal to concede a penalty. Scott Brown converted with the kind of ease that will have Neil Lennon wondering how his team managed to miss so many penalties in the last two years.
James Forrest replaced the tiring Commons and ripped up the field before shoot wide from 8 yards as Celtic closed out the game comfortably.
Let’s hope we get a home draw in the next round. Although, Tannadice would be acceptable….