Abada bags double as Celtic set up Kilmarnock semi

Abada bags double as Celtic set up Kilmarnock semi

Liel Abada’s second goal effectively wrapped up the quarter-final tie for Celtic

Holders Celtic cruised through to the semi-finals of the Scottish League Cup and a meeting with Kilmarnock after Liel Abada’s double helped them past Motherwell.

Abada tapped home Greg Taylor’s cross moments before the break, and then stuck a side-foot volley past goalkeeper Liam Kelly after it.

The Israeli winger then turned provider for Reo Hatate, before his shot off a post fell to Kyogo Furuhashi to tap home Celtic’s fourth, as they eased into the last four.

Ange Postecoglou’s side will face Kilmarnock at Hampden on the weekend of 14-15 January as they seek a seventh League Cup success in nine seasons, while Rangers will meet Aberdeen in the other semi-final.

There was rarely a moment at Fir Park in which it felt like a shock was on the cards, as Celtic created a glut of first-half chances before eventually finding the breakthrough.

Kyogo could have had a hat-trick before the break as he cracked a shot off the bar, missed a gilt-edged chance from six yards, and then had another close-range shot saved by Kelly.

But when Abada tore into the Motherwell box to get on the end of Taylor’s cross after a neat exchange with Sead Haksabanovic, there was an inevitability about what followed after the interval.

The 21-year-old added his eighth goal of the season when Josip Juranovic’s shot was saved and he reacted instinctively to plant the ball into the corner.

And then his cross was collected by Hatate, who showed fantastic skill to roll his right foot over the ball to move it beyond Kelly’s reach before sticking it into the empty net.

Abada was then slipped through and given the chance to score a hat-trick by Daizen Maeda but his low shot came off a post, with Kyogo waiting to turn the ball home.

Motherwell were ultimately powerless to resist Celtic’s movement in the final third, but Steven Hammell’s side still had a go in spells only to fail to take the chances that did come their way.

Stuart McKinstry had the best of them when the game was goalless, but the forward sliced his shot from 10 yards horribly wide when he had plenty of time to take a touch following some slack defending by Moritz Jenz.

Those are the opportunities that simply have to be converted against this Celtic side, given the sheer volume of chances they create at the other end.

After a period of relative profligacy, that’s now 10 goals in two games and a first clean sheet in nine.

Player of the match – Reo Hatate

Celtic's Reo Hatate celebrates with Sead Haksabanovic after making it 3-0 during a Premier Sports Cup match between Motherwell and Celtic at Fir Park
The Japanese midfielder was fantastic yet again as he picked up clever positions in the final third, and his distribution was brilliant.

What they said

Motherwell boss Steven Hammell: “It’s a tough one. I felt we came up against a good team in a good moment just now. Losing the goal before half-time, you don’t need to be an expert to know it changes things. Unfortunately again we’ve conceded a couple of really poor goals.”

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou: “I thought the way Motherwell set up they really tried to be aggressive in terms of pressing us when we tried to play out from the back.

“I just thought we handled it really well and once we played through their press we created good opportunities and could have finished the game off a bit earlier. But overall, really pleased.”

What’s next?

Motherwell host Aberdeen in the Scottish Premiership on Saturday (15:00 BST), while Celtic travel to Edinburgh to face Hearts in the lunchtime kick-off (12:30).



Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Kelly
  • 16McGinn
  • 15JohansenSubstituted forMugabiat 64′minutes
  • 4Lamie
  • 24Penney
  • 8SlatterySubstituted forCorneliusat 64′minutesBooked at 78mins
  • 27GossSubstituted forMaguireat 82′minutes
  • 29ShieldsSubstituted forMorrisat 81′minutes
  • 7SpittalBooked at 55minsSubstituted forTierneyat 64′minutes
  • 17McKinstry
  • 9van Veen


  • 2O’Donnell
  • 5Mugabi
  • 6Maguire
  • 13Oxborough
  • 18Cornelius
  • 23Morris
  • 26Tierney
  • 38Miller
  • 49Ferrie


Formation 4-3-3

  • 31Siegrist
  • 88Juranovic
  • 20Carter-Vickers
  • 6Jenz
  • 3Taylor
  • 13MooySubstituted forMcCarthyat 72′minutes
  • 33O’RileySubstituted forAbildgaardat 61′minutes
  • 41HatateSubstituted forMaedaat 72′minutes
  • 11Abada
  • 8Furuhashi
  • 9HaksabanovicSubstituted forGiakoumakisat 80′minutes


  • 1Hart
  • 7Giakoumakis
  • 16McCarthy
  • 21Ideguchi
  • 25Bernabei
  • 28Abildgaard
  • 38Maeda
  • 49Forrest
  • 56Ralston

Don Robertson


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