KYOGO FURUHASHI had to wait until January 2 last year to claim his first goal against Ibrox opposition.

The Japanese international striker fired blanks against Celtic’s city foes – then managed by Steven Gerrard – when he made his derby debut in Govan on August 29 2021,  just under a month after his £4.6million arrival from J-League outfit Vissel Kobe.

Unfortunately, Kyogo was denied twice late in the game which the Hoops lost 1-0 to a Filip Helander header from a right-wing corner-kick.

And he was injured and missed the next match against the Ibrox outfit – now managed by Giovanni van Bronckhorst – when his countryman Reo Hatate rifled in a memorable first-half double and Liel Abada claimed the other in a runaway 3-0 triumph at Parkhead on February 2 2022.

THE SIGNS ARE GOOD…Kyogo Furuhashi and Greg Taylor celebrate the Japanese striker’s opening goal in last season’s League Cup Final victory. He added another in the second-half.

Kyogo was just coming back from injury when he figured in the Hoops’ 2-1 extra-time loss in the Scottish Cup semi-final at Hampden on April 17.

The following month, the hosts relied on a deft strike from Filipe Jota in the 1-1 derby deadlock in the east end of Glasgow as they edged towards the Premiership title.

The Portuguese ace was on target again as Celtic romped to a 4-0 win on September 3 that year with Abada (2) and David Turnbull contributing the others.

A change of year brought a change of fortune for Kyogo when he claimed his first crucial strike against the Govan side with an equaliser two minutes from time to give the visitors a well-deserved 2-2 draw on January 2 2023.

DERBY DELIGHT…Kyogo Furuhashi retrieves the ball from the back of Allan McGregor’s net after scoring his first goal against the Ibrox side in the 2-2 draw in January last year.

The Hoops’ talisman enjoyed the sensation so much he added six more strikes before the year was out.

On February 26, the pacy raider fired in two as Celtic won 2-1 in the League Cup Final and he followed that up with another twosome on April 8 in the Hoops’ 3-2 triumph in the league in the east end of Glasgow.

And Kyogo hit the ground running this season when he volleyed in the only goal of the game on September 3 and followed that up with a magnificent seventh in the 2-1 triumph at Parkhead on December 30.

Is No.8 on the way? Celtic fans wait with bated breath as tomorrow’s noon kick-off edges closer.

NUMBER ONE…Kyogo Furuhashi is outnumbered as he nets the late leveller at Ibrox on January 2.

NUMBER TWO…Kyogo Furuhashi prepares to knock in the opener in the League Cup Final in February.

NUMBER THREE…the deciding goal as Kyogo Furuhashi almost ends in the net alongside Borna Barisic after turning in a low cross from Reo Hatate for the League Cup winner.

NUMBER FOUR…Kyogo Furuhashi thumps Celtic into the lead in the 3-2 Premiership triumph at Parkhead in March.

NUMBER FIVE…Allan McGregor has no chance as Kyogo finishes from close range in the Premiership clash.

NUMBER SIX…Kyogo Furuhashi thunders in the winner as John Souttar can only look on at Ibrox in September.

NUMBER SEVEN…Kyogo Furuhashi evades Connor Goldson’s lunge as he sends a breathtaking left-foot effort towards goal. Jack Butland is about the be rendered redundant.


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