If this is Kyogo Furuhashi’s Celtic bedding in the period, its final form is unimaginable – great verdict of the match

If this is Kyogo Furuhashi’s Celtic bedding in the period, its final form is unimaginable – great verdict of the match

Kyogo Furuhashi is barely at the door and is gasping for breath.

James Forrest, on the other hand, has been doing it for a decade. Between them, the offensive pair have given Celtic a great opportunity to break into the group stage of the Europa League.

Ange Postecoglou has discovered the poster boy for his rock’n’roll football in the form of Furuhashi.

The 26-year-old Japanese was supposed to need time to settle down. Well, if this is still your bedtime period, it’s hard to imagine what it will be like when you hit top speed.

It’s sizzling and classy.

Furuhashi followed up his brilliant first-half volley for a sixth goal in five starts by providing the reckless pass that allowed Forrest to hit a shot wide for a second at own goal.

Postecoglou will need some veterans to help the new guys and Forrest is one, also Tom Rogic.

Kyogo Furuhashi was the main man once again.

The coach declared himself a lover of Dutch football art before the game and has an artist in the form of his compatriot, who created the starter.

The trio have been responsible for the goals that Celtic has in control in the middle of this tie. But it is not over. Last night’s epic from start to finish provides the evidence.

Postecoglou’s approach to risk and reward is thunderous to watch. It is something that turns your head.

He could have carved out a bigger lead to take Alkmaar into next week’s second leg, but he could also have opened a door for the Dutch.

Goalkeeper Joe Hart made a crucial save at 0-0. More opportunities were created as Celtic played on the edge, but the bottom line held firm, with kids like Stephen Welsh and Anthony Ralston excellent to reward their leaders.

Another throbbing performance may be required for Postecoglou’s team to cross the line across the North Sea, but momentum is building.

They are five consecutive victories for the Australian and his team. And this was another fascinating first episode of his reign.

It was never going to be boring. Postecoglou’s attacking demands, which leave spaces at the other end, provoke excitement by the minute and swept from the start.

Alkmaar clearly sensed that an open hearth setup could be exploited. The first ball went straight down a canal to win a corner and they quickly issued warnings, as well as severe ones.

Within seven minutes there were two casualties, first when Carl Starfelt was defeated by assault Zakaria Aboukhlal, who then fell into the area without impressing referee Ovidiu Hategan.

Celtic goalkeeper Joe Hart takes aim during a match
Joe Hart made a vital stop

Second, when Dani de Wit hit the far post for Vangelis Pavlidis, whose low shot seemed destined for the net until Hart poked a toe to deflect it toward a post before picking up the loose rebound as it crossed his line.

It was an unorthodox but vital save, the true value of which became apparent when Celtic went straight onto the field and took a first goal through Furuhashi.

Rogic’s slide to the baseline and center were excellent, but the Japanese move to lose their marker with a quick run to the back post was electric, the volley shot on the roof of the net for the full stretch. simply explosive.

It was Celtic this season in a nutshell: unreliable at the rear, dazzling in attack.

During a spell that followed Furuhashi’s cookie, they caused chaos and Rogic was at the heart of the carnage with his fingers glowing and majestic at times.

A shot was parried by goalkeeper Hobie Verhulst and a sumptuous deep pass created an opportunity for Liel Abada.

The teenager got the nod over Odsonne Edouard. The Frenchman looked strong in the weekend’s win over Hearts alongside Furuhashi, but the 19-year-old Israeli was given the vote to start in a great show of faith and was blocked by another blow as he progressed through the game.

Everyone was getting in on the act and Forrest was next, hitting his favorite right peg to bend a big effort to the top corner that brought in a flying save from Verhulst.

But it was a white-knuckle thing. Supporters needed tight seat belts when the roller coaster lowered them to the other end and gave them a jolt.

Starfelt made a pass to midfield that was never made. Alkmaar broke and Moroccan Aboukhlal, who had just delivered a savage blow to a cross, had another blow that forced Hart to save low to his left.

Celtic took the break and, as it happened, it could have been by more than one.

James Forrest and his Celtic teammates celebrate
James Forrest celebrates a second rather lucky goal

The Welshman went over a David Turnbull corner, the midfielder fired wide and a cross from Abada to Furuhashi was cut off as he stalked, but the lead remained narrow.

It was never going to end 1-0, but how the Dutch didn’t draw five minutes after the restart remains a mystery as winger Thijs Oosting attacked.

Around the hour, some zippers left their legs at home but Edouard took over from Abada to try to inject momentum and the impact was instantaneous.

It was part of a move that saw Rogic cut back before the second key goal came along.

There was fortune. Furuhashi’s cheeky nutmeg pass caught his teammate in the box and took the ball with his back to the goal.

Forrest spun and fired, his effort causing defender Timo Letschert to swerve enormously and he shot over the line.

He injected air into the house lungs with Furuhashi leading by example with three tackles down the midline, showing a fight to go smoothly.

His career ran before the end, as with Rogic. James McCarthy came in to try and see him with Ralston’s brilliant back post punt protecting the lead.

By the end it was almost three o’clock. Edouard had two saves by Verhulst, while teammate Adam Montgomery blocked two more in the melee that followed.

But two will be enough for Celtic to have the firepower to do more damage in the Netherlands.

One thing is for sure, it will be worth a look.


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