Callum McGregor scored a late winner to help Celtic produce one of the narrow football scores of the midweek action in the Scottish Premiership. Despite dominating the game at a chilly Pittodrie and having 81 percent possession, Ange Postecoglou’s team appeared to be losing two points despite taking 30 pointless shots. Nevertheless, McGregor finally broke through Aberdeen’s defense on try number 31, blasting in from the edge of the box on 87 minutes for Celtic’s 200th goal under manager Postecoglou while the visitors failed to register a shot on target.
The champions were almost fully rested for their first game back after the World Cup thanks to McGregor, who had been sidelined with a knee ailment since October. Only Josip Juranovic remains in Qatar for Saturday’s third-place play-off match between Croatia and Morocco. Anthony Ralston was the other option for the right-back, but his initial attempt was solidly blocked in the Aberdeen box, and Matt O’Riley blasted the rebound over from the loose ball. A few minutes later, Jota brought Celtic even closer when he cut inside from the left and curled a shot toward the top corner, but Aberdeen goalkeeper Kelle Roos stopped the attempt.
At halftime, Postecoglou substituted Liel Abada for Daizen Maeda for the second session, and the forward made an immediate impact. Ralston squared to Kyogo for a straightforward tap-in after playing the Israel winger through in the box, but the Japan forward’s effort was bafflingly wide. Following that, Celtic had a flurry of chances, with Hatate and Jota both shooting high and wide from the edge of the box, and Roos saving a close-range attempt from Abada. Ralston found Kyogo in the area, but his acrobatic effort sailed wide as Celtic’s right side continued to be effective. Later, Jota’s cross put Greg Taylor in position at the back post, but the left-back miscued his first-time shot.
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