Celtic 1-0 Rangers: Idah late show seals Scottish Cup glory for Hoops

By Sports Desk May 25, 2024

Adam Idah scored a last-gasp winner as Celtic claimed the Scottish Cup by beating Old Firm rivals Rangers 1-0 on Saturday.

Idah came on from the bench to net a 90th-minute winner for the Hoops, who secured a league and cup double in Brendan Rodgers' first season back in charge.

Rangers thought they had taken the lead midway through the second half at Hampden Park, when Abdallah Sima tapped in from on the line.

However, VAR came to Celtic's rescue, with the onfield referee overturning his decision to give the goal when the replays showed Nicolas Raskin had pushed Hoops goalkeeper Joe Hart, who was playing in his last match before retirement.

Celtic made their good fortune count, with Idah reacting sharply to slam home from close range after Jack Butland spilled a shot.

It gave Rangers no time to respond, as Celtic sealed their 42nd Scottish Cup crown.

Data Debrief: Hart bows out on top

Hart confirmed his retirement several weeks ago, and the former England goalkeeper goes out on the highest note possible, with a domestic double.

The 37-year-old retires with six titles to his name with Celtic, following on from five trophies during his time with Manchester City.

In what proved to be his final Scottish Cup campaign, Hart conceded five goals in five appearances, keeping three clean sheets and recording a save percentage of 66.67.

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    Roberto Martinez praised Portugal's resilience in their Euro 2024 opener against Czechia, and believes that will be key to beating a confident Turkiye side. 

    For both, it was their rising stars who took centre stage during matchday one in Group F, as substitute Francisco Conceicao spared Selecao's blushes with an injury-time winner against Ivan Hasek's side. 

    Earlier that day, it was Real Madrid's Arda Guler who helped Turkiye beat a tough Georgia display, scoring an exceptional goal to earn his nation their first opening day win at the tournament at the sixth attempt. 

    Portugal came from a goal behind to ensure their victory, but decisions will be made on who starts up front, with Cristiano Ronaldo failing to score on his landmark European Championship appearance. 

    The veteran forward has never scored against Turkey, despite playing three matches against them. Only against Albania has he ever played more matches (four) without finding the back of the net for his country. 

    Martinez's side won a game from a losing position for the first time under his stewardship and is hopeful his squad can show the same personality against Turkiye in Dortmund.

    "Today it's not about assessing this game from the technical or tactical point of view," said the head coach.

    "We won because we showed resilience, willpower and belief. It's the first time we've come from behind to win [under my tenure]. We believed, we showed incredible personality.

    "It's a game where we had 13 corners; the Czech Republic had none. If we scored early we could have won by three or four goals. The atmosphere was incredible. Our fans did not deserve to lose this game.

    "Nuno Mendes in a back three? He has the physical attributes to play in a three-man defence. It's important to have symmetry in the middle block. The Czech Republic are a physical team. The important thing is not the starting eleven, but how the game ends. We showed we had prepared well."

    Meanwhile, Turkiye head coach Vincenzo Montella celebrated his 50th birthday in style at the Westfalenstadion, 

    While the Italian was keen to enjoy the moment of Turkiye's landmark success, his attention quickly turned to the task of facing Portugal, a side they have only won two of their nine matches against (L7), with their last triumph coming in an international friendly in 2012. 

    "Our dreams were very much focused on this match," Montella told reporters following that game. "We managed to win [our first game of the tournament] for the first time, so there will be a lot of first times."

    A victory would secure qualification to the knockout stages of the competition for Montella's side, and when asked about his chances against the Selcao's star-studded line-up he said: "Then more dreams will emerge."

    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    Turkiye - Hakan Calhanoglu

    While the praise for Turkiye's young stars was warranted, it overshadowed the impressive display of Calhanoglu at the heart of their midfield against Georgia.

    The Inter man completed 88 passes against Georgia last time out, the most by a Türkiye player in a European Championship game, with a passing accuracy of 92.6 per cent. 

    Portugal – Vitinha

    Another midfield maestro had yet another impressive display in their Group F opener, with Vitinha completing more passes under high-intensity pressure (59) than any other player in the opening round of games at Euro 2024.

    Only Toni Kroos (30) made more line-breaking passes than the Paris Saint-Germain midfielder on MD1 (21). 

    MATCH PREDICTION – PORTUGAL WIN

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    And Portugal has often got the better of their opponents when they have squared off at the European Championships. Portugal have won all three of their previous encounters in the tournament, without conceding a single goal.

    Martinez's side are also the only team to reach the knockout stages of the Euros at each of the last seven editions, having only lost one of their last nine group stage games at the tournament (W4 D4), with that defeat coming against Germany in 2021. 

    But Turkiye proved in their opener against Georgia they are not here just to take part, and will be looking to win their first two games at a major tournament for the first time in their history. 

    Montella will be keen to continue his 50th birthday celebrations when he returns to Dortmund on Saturday, with the possibility of equalling their most victories in a single edition of the European Championship (two in 2008). They have only managed more at a major tournament in the 2002 World Cup (four).

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    Turkiye - 17.8%

    Draw - 20.3%

    Portugal - 62%

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    Robin Hranac's unavoidable own-goal had earlier cancelled out Lukas Provod's rocketed second-half opener before Conceicao announced himself on the international stage at the Leipzig Stadium.

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    Ronaldo almost marked his landmark appearance with a goal just eight minutes in but rushed an unmarked header in uncharacteristic fashion from Rafael Leao's whipped cross.

    Bruno Fernandes angled a deflected long-range effort narrowly over as the one-way traffic persisted, before the Manchester United midfielder's teasing ball just evaded the lunging Leao.

    Fernandes was again the architect when his delicate throughball found Ronaldo, who was denied by Jindrich Stanek's fantastic stop from point-blank range.

    The Czechia goalkeeper was on hand once more before the interval, parrying away another fizzing Ronaldo strike as these two sides were the first to be goalless at half-time at Euro 2024.

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    Czech need more from Schick

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