Match Highlights | St Mirren 0-2 Celtic | Double delight for Celtic in Paisley as they progress
SMiSA Stadium, Paisley
ST MIRREN… 0
(Kyogo 15, Maeda 53)
Celtic advanced into the quarter-finals of the Scottish Cup with a routine 2-0 victory over St Mirren in Paisley.
Kyogo’s 12th goal of the season gave the Hoops an early lead in the fifth-round tie which was doubled by Daizen Maeda’s early second-half strike to keep the dreams of a date at Hampden on May 25 alive.
After the dramatic victory over Hibernian on Wednesday night, Celtic’s defence of the Scottish Cup continued in Paisley as they looked to advance into the quarter-finals.
Adam Idah’s two goals in Leith kept his place in the starting XI, and he was also joined by Kyogo with the pair looking to steer the Hoops into the next round.
Idah had Celtic’s first chance after 10 minutes as he wriggled past his marker and steered a shot into the net from a tight angle, however, the Republic of Ireland striker took the ball over the by-line during the process.
Just five minutes later and the ball was in the net again, this time there was nothing wrong with the finish as Kyogo made it 1-0 to Celtic.
Callum McGregor started the attack by setting Luis Palma free down the left, and with Idah running to the near post, Kyogo halted his run and received the cutback to the edge of the box, with his first-time finish nestling into the bottom right corner.
St Mirren weren’t spooked by going a goal down and they almost equalised in the 31st minute, with Alex Gogic smashing the crossbar with a swivelled shot inside the box.
Celtic would then have a flurry of opportunities in the space of a few minutes. First of all it was Idah who went close on the 37th minute but his effort deflected the wrong side of the right post.
Then Daizen Maeda was narrowly close to turning Palma’s dangerous cross into the net as he steamed into the near-post but turned his shot wide.
With the board for stoppage time going up, Gogic went close again for St Mirren, this time producing a stunning acrobatic overhead kick from 18 yards which made Joe Hart pull off a brilliant low save.
Celtic almost got off to the perfect start in the second period with Idah going close after two minutes. Anthony Ralston played the inch-perfect cross around the St Mirren defence, with Idah sliding in and the shot steered wide.
But they wouldn’t have to wait long for the second goal with Maeda doubling the advantage in the 53rd minute.
It was a case of right place, right time for the Japan forward as Palma’s cross found O’Riley at the back-post and the Danish midfielder’s first-time shot hit off the crossbar straight to Maeda to prod into an empty net.
St Mirren tried to hit back and missed a couple of opportunities, with Greg Kiltie putting a header wide from close range and then Mikael Mandron curling a left-footed shot wide from 20 yards.
Brendan Rodgers made several changes in the second period and the next big chance for Celtic came from one of the substitutes Hyunjun Yang
on 81 minutes.
In his first appearance since returning from the Asian Cup, he danced his way into the box from the left wing and saw a shot deflect off his South Korean team-mate Hyeongyu Oh and just wide.
St Mirren probed the Celtic goal on occasion, but overall it was a comfortable afternoon in Paisley as the hunt to retain the Scottish Cup goes on for another round.
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