St. Mirren is eliminated by Celtic after a late goal blitz
Celtic defeated 10-man St Mirren to advance to the Scottish Cup quarterfinals, but their happiness may be muted by Kyogo Furuhashi’s apparent shoulder injury.
For Celtic’s opening goal, Daizen Maeda converted Aaron Mooy’s cross, and three replacements added four more goals after the break.
After Richard Taylor was dismissed for handball and Oh Hyeon-gyu poked in, Reo Hatate smashed home a penalty.
Prior to Matt O’Riley and Hatate goals, Saints’ Mark O’Hara scored a penalty.
Reaction and the actual event
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The crowd appeared to be excited for the Saturday night cup match. At kickoff, they made a raucous, smoky scene, but St Mirren goalkeeper Trevor Carson was able to see through the haze to deflect Jota’s ferocious effort after the Portuguese winger’s early frantic run.
The only Scottish team to defeat Celtic this year is Stephen Robinson’s group. The brilliant Keanu Baccus fed Scott Tanser down the left, showing a desire to move the ball forward swiftly, but Carl Starfelt stopped the threat.
Aside from replacing Hatate with David Turnbull, Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou had only made one change from the lineup that defeated St. Johnstone the previous weekend. However, he was forced to make another change when Kyogo injured his shoulder after falling awkwardly early in the game.
Liel Abada was introduced, and in less than two minutes, he had snuck a pass into the box for Aaron Mooy, who then crossed the ball for Maeda to score the opening goal. The Japanese forward’s errant cross had already struck the far post by that point.
St Mirren rallied magnificently, and after Alex Greive spun Starfelt, Cameron Carter-Vickers bravely deflected the forward’s goal-bound shot over the bar. Starfelt was only prevented from scoring late in the first half by a crucial block by Curtis Main. Greive afterwards hobbled off and was replaced by Tony Watt.
For a large portion of the second half, Celtic kept Saints at bay by strewing the ball in midfield and forcing St. Mirren to expend a lot of energy attempting to match runs.
Following a triple substitution that saw O’Riley, Oh, and Hatate replace Mooy, Jota, and Turnbull, the visitors survived a scare when Fraser headed Alistair Johnston’s cross against his own post. Then, with the goal at his mercy, Abada headed horribly wide from Maeda’s cross after having the goal at his mercy.
Following a VAR examination by referee Steven McLean, Taylor was dismissed for handball after blocking a shot that was headed for the goal. Oh scored his first goal for Celtic after Hatate smashed the penalty shot inside the post after Carson parried a drive from Callum McGregor.
O’Hara, the captain of St. Mirren, tucked away his late penalty after Greg Kiltie was fouled by Starfelt with finesse as his team trailed 3-0, but O’Riley and Hatate, who both blasted rockets past Carson from central positions as Celtic attacked until the final whistle, left the Paisley team reeling.