Karamoko Dembele Shines As Reserves Reach Cup Final

Celtic reserves faced Hibernian in the SPFL Reserve Cup semi-final at Lennoxtown this afternoon. A few first team players were on show, including the welcome return of Elhamed. It was the Israeli who had Celtic’s first real chance of the match when he headed goalwards from a corner in the 11th minute.

The Hoops didn’t have to wait much longer to break the deadlock as Daniel Arzani picked out Luca Connell with a free kick and the young midfielder’s deflected volley found its way into the bottom corner.

It was first team players who combined again, five minutes later, when Stephen Welsh picked out Ewan Henderson, who worked a corner. The resulting cross was cleared and Hibs almost drew level on the break. However, the hosts regained the initiative soon after and Karamoko Dembele skipped past a number of defenders before seeing his shot blocked. The tricky magician, who turned 17 last week, put his name on the scoresheet in added time at the end of the first half with a sensational first time strike from range, which thundered in off the crossbar.

Celtic set out with good intent in the second half. New Bhoy, Patryk Klimala, put the game beyond doubt in just the 51st minute – the Polish striker producing a tidy chipped finish over the helpless Bogdan to make it 3-0. Less than ten minutes had passed before Klimala had a good opportunity to grab his second of the afternoon, however Bogdan managed to save with his foot from close range.

Celtic made a double substitution in the 62nd minute:

This disrupted the momentum and Hibernian took full advantage when they pulled one back 80 seconds later! It was to be no more than a consolation goal though, as Karamoko Dembele produced a trademark moment of magic, dancing past a number of Hibernian players before curling into the corner of the net for his second of the day.

Brody Patersonn, who signed professional forms with Celtic in June 2018, then wanted in on the act. Though it wasn’t to be as his driven cross was touched onto the woodwork by the goalkeeper.

First team trio – Soro, Henderson and Arzani then made way in the final quarter of the match. This time the changes caused no disruption as Celtic remained on the front foot.

A minute from time, Murray was sent off for Hibs after a cynical challenge on Irish international, Barry Coffey.

Finally, the full time whistle blew – Celtic breezing to the cup final with an emphatic 4-1 victory.

It was great to see Elhamed get a good hour under his belt, as well as Klimala getting on the scoresheet. Both could play a part in the run in. However, there’s no doubting that Karamoko Dembele stole the show yet again. Just how far can this young Bhoy go in the game?

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About Author

Hailing from an Irish background, I grew up in Bournemouth with the good fortune to begin watching Celtic during the Martin O'Neill era. Still living on the south coast, I have a season ticket at Paradise and also travel to European away matches when possible. I have written four Celtic books since the age of 19: Our Stories & Our Songs: The Celtic Support, Take Me To Your Paradise: A History Of Celtic-Related Incidents & Events, Walfrid & The Bould Bhoys: Celtic's Founding Fathers, First Season & Early Stars, and The Holy Grounds of Glasgow Celtic: A Guide To Celtic Landmarks & Sites Of Interest. These were/are sold in Waterstones and official Celtic FC stores, and are available on Amazon.

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