Kyogo Furuhashi punishes Jablonec to give Ange Postecoglou first Celtic win

Kyogo Furuhashi scored on his first start for Celtic as Ange Postecoglou got his reign up and running with a win in the Czech Republic.

Japan international Furuhashi scored Celtic’s second goal in a 4-2 first-leg victory over Jablonec in the Europa League.

Another summer signing, Liel Abada, opened the scoring early on before both James Forrest and Ryan Christie restored Celtic’s two-goal cushion in the second half after their defensive frailties reared their head again.

Postecoglou’s first win in four matches in charge of Celtic put his team on course to face AZ Alkmaar in the play-offs.

The Australian handed Joe Hart a debut 24 hours after the goalkeeper completed his move from Tottenham, while Furuhashi was preferred to Odsonne Edouard up front.

Celtic should have been ahead before Abada’s 12th-miute opener. Anthony Ralston set up David Turnbull for a free shot from 14 yards but the midfielder failed to properly get hold of his attempt and the keeper got down to hold. Hart made his first save a minute later with a comfortable stop from a header after Nir Bitton put off his marker at a corner.

Celtic soon took the lead, however, when Forrest played the ball inside to Greg Taylor and the left-back’s low cross was swept home by Abada after his initial effort was blocked.

Hart made a near-post stop and Abada had another effort saved before Celtic went two up inside 16 minutes. Furuhashi set himself up with his first touch from Bitton’s through ball and he dinked the ball over the goalkeeper.

The hosts responded inside 60 seconds when Vaclav Pilar ran in between Bitton and Carl Starfelt on to a lofted through ball and knocked the ball past a static Hart.

But Celtic were looking confident in possession and Callum McGregor fired inches wide from 22 yards before Abada forced another first-half stop. Furuhashi also missed a glorious chance early in the second half when he volleyed well over from four yards after Abada’s cross deflected off the post.

Although Jablonec were getting balls into the box they were not testing Hart and Celtic got the third in the 64th minute after Turnbull’s ball over the top put Abada in behind. The Israeli had to check back but got a decent effort on target which the goalkeeper parried into the path of Forrest, who finished high into the net.

Forrest missed a more difficult chance before Celtic’s defence were caught out by a ball down the left to Tomas Malinsky. The Jablonec player chipped Hart, who got a hand to it, but the ball came off the post, hit Bitton and went in.

The goal gave the hosts hope but Forrest crossed for substitute Christie to steer home a diving header in the 90th minute.

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