Ange Postecoglou sings the praises of Celtic star Kyogo Furuhashi

Ange Postecoglou sings the praises of Celtic’s Japanese star Kyogo Furuhashi after his stunning two-goal performance steers them to a League Cup final victory over Old Firm rivals Rangers

  • Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou reserved special praise for one of his side’s stars
  • Postecoglou complimented Kyogo Furuhashi after his two-goal final showing
  • Celtic lifted the Scottish League Cup title on Sunday after beating Rangers 

Ange Postecoglou hailed Kyogo Furuhashi’s ‘outstanding’ performance after Celtic’s top scorer put Rangers to the sword in the Viaplay Cup final.

A Hampden hero with two goals against Hibernian in last season’s final, the Japanese striker repeated the trick with another brace as a 2-1 win saw Scotland’s champions retain the trophy.

Furuhashi took his tally for the season to 24 with close-range finishes either side of half-time.

Despite Alfredo Morelos pulling one back, Celtic ran out comfortable winners, missing a number of chances to add to their lead in the final minutes. 

On a day when his talisman had chances to score a rare cup final hat-trick, Postecoglou praised Furuhashi’s all-round contribution to a victory which retained the team’s Treble dream.

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou (left) was full of praise for star attacker Kyogo Furuhashi (right)

Furuhashi (green and white top) scored twice in Sunday’s Old Firm League Cup final clash

Furuhashi (right) was full of jubilation at full-time as his goals helped Celtic claim a famous victory over their rivals

The Celtic boss said: ‘It’s not just about his goals. They are the most important thing, but he works so hard. He’s another that, whatever rewards he gets, they are hard earned.

‘He’s not floating about just waiting for a chance. He’s running his socks off to do things other strikers won’t do because he knows it’s the right thing for the team.

‘Players at this club are often measured by how they perform on the biggest of stages — and he delivers again.

‘You look at him, the size he is and the players he is against, and he doesn’t shirk any of it. He puts the opposition under pressure, he’s so clever with movement and he wants to be front and centre when the opportunities are there. He was outstanding and has been from the moment he joined this club.’

Furuhashi had scored his first Old Firm goal in four attempts in the 2-2 draw at Ibrox last month. By extending his run to three in two games, it meant Michael Beale’s hopes of preserving his unbeaten run as Rangers manager effectively ended after the Japanese star’s second goal in the 56th minute.

‘He has played in two finals for us now and scored four goals,’ added Postecoglou. ‘He’s just an unbelievable young man.

‘He’s such a clever player and he wants the big moments.’

Furuhashi told Celtic fans there is still more to come from him after yesterday’s double.

The Japanese star (left) posed with his Celtic team-mates lifting the League Cup trophy

Celtic boss Postecoglou (lifting trophy) labelled Furuhashi as an ‘unbelievable young man’

‘I still have a lot of improving to do to become a better player, and contribute to the team, which is the most important thing to me,’ said the forward.

‘I just want to smile at the end of the season with the rest of the team.’

He got off the mark when Daizen Maeda fresh-aired Greg Taylor’s cross just before half-time.

Recalling the moment which turned the game in his side’s favour, he said: ‘I thought Daizen was going to score but then the ball came to me, so I thought it was my duty to score! I was happy to score two goals.’

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