Soccer  

Ross County 1-3 Celtic: Champions snatch late win

Moritz Jenz celebrates his winning goal on his debut
Moritz Jenz celebrates his winning goal on his debut

Moritz Jenz rescued Celtic with a late goal on his debut as the Scottish Premiership champions rallied to overcome impressive Ross County.

Kyogo Furuhashi rewarded the visitors’ heavy pressure when he converted Jota’s cutback shortly after the interval.

But Alex Iacovitti thundered in a header to equalise and Joe Hart superbly denied County’s Owura Edwards.

Jenz glanced home in the 84th minute and Liel Abada added an excellent third in injury time.

For all their 83% possession in the first half, Celtic failed to find a breakthrough as County provided stout resistance.

Jota’s attempt was diverted narrowly wide by Jack Baldwin and Daizen Maeda failed to keep a header low enough to trouble Ross Laidlaw.

Kyogo and Jota combined well on the edge of the box to set up the former for a shot that was saved well by the County goalkeeper.

As the half drew to a close, Celtic’s frustration grew as Matt O’Riley had a chance blocked by an exceptional sliding challenge from Baldwin and Maeda forced Laidlaw into a reflex save.

The game burst to life within minutes of the restart as Callum McGregor played a weighted pass to Jota, who took an intelligent touch past a defender before picking out Kyogo in front of goal for a simple finish.

The goal seemed to intensify County’s endeavour, as they enjoyed decent attacking possession before Iacovitti bulleted home an Edwards corner just short of the hour.

Celtic toiled in search of a second goal until centre-back Jenz glanced a header home from a terrific Jota cross to send the travelling support wild.

Intricate play on the edge of the area allowed Abada to finish off an impressive attacking move with a curling effort in injury time to guarantee all three points.

Man of the match – Jota

As much as Ross County frustrated the away side, the Portuguese winger recorded three assists as he was instrumental throughout for his side
As much as Ross County frustrated the away side, the Portuguese winger recorded three assists and was instrumental in victory

No cause for County concern

Ross County have zero points from a possible six, but they still have more than enough potential to be a surprise package this season.

An impressive attacking display on the opening weekend and a solid defensive performance this afternoon will give Malky Mackay more than enough encouragement as the season gets going.

For Celtic, what a coup Jota’s signing is. The winger, who shone on loan last season before returning on a permanent deal this summer, notched three assists in another inspirational display.

A potential downside for Ange Postecoglou will be how frustrated his side were in the opening 45 minutes. 83% possession, 339 passes, 112 in the final third, yet only three shots on target.

The strength in depth of his bench, though, proved crucial with Abada making an impact after his half-time introduction.

What they said

Ross County manager Malky Mackay: “I was really pleased with the game-plan and that the players stuck to it. I don’t think Celtic broke us down too many times.

“There’s a lot to be looking positively at for us in the coming weeks.”

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou: “I’m really happy with the result and the performance. It’s a difficult place to come but the players were outstanding at controlling the game and minimising their threats.

“We obviously got challenged in the second half when they scored but our response to that was excellent and we fully deserved the victory.”

What’s next?

Ross County are away to St Mirren on Saturday, 13 August (15:00 BST), while Celtic are away to Kilmarnock the following day at noon.

Player of the match

JotaJota

Ross County

  1. Squad number16Player nameHarmon

  2. Squad number12Player nameJohnson

  3. Squad number26Player nameWhite

  4. Squad number6Player nameIacovitti

  5. Squad number14Player nameLoturi

  6. Squad number7Player nameEdwards

  7. Squad number1Player nameLaidlaw

  8. Squad number22Player nameTillson

  9. Squad number3Player namePurrington

  10. Squad number24Player namePaton

  11. Squad number4Player nameCancola

  12. Squad number2Player nameRandall

  13. Squad number5Player nameBaldwin

  14. Squad number8Player nameCallachan

  15. Squad number9Player nameSamuel

  16. Squad number19Player nameHiwula-Mayifuila

Celtic

  1. Squad number17Player nameJota

  2. Squad number6Player nameJenz

  3. Squad number11Player nameAbada

  4. Squad number8Player nameFuruhashi

  5. Squad number20Player nameCarter-Vickers

  6. Squad number33Player nameO’Riley

  7. Squad number1Player nameHart

  8. Squad number42Player nameMcGregor

  9. Squad number3Player nameTaylor

  10. Squad number88Player nameJuranovic

  11. Squad number14Player nameTurnbull

  12. Squad number38Player nameMaeda

  13. Squad number7Player nameGiakoumakis

  14. Squad number13Player nameMooy

Line-ups

Ross County

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Laidlaw
  • 2RandallBooked at 68minsSubstituted forJohnsonat 71′minutes
  • 5Baldwin
  • 6Iacovitti
  • 3Purrington
  • 8CallachanBooked at 12mins
  • 4CancolaBooked at 47minsSubstituted forWhiteat 83′minutes
  • 22TillsonBooked at 31mins
  • 9SamuelSubstituted forLoturiat 45′minutes
  • 24PatonSubstituted forEdwardsat 45′minutes
  • 19Hiwula-MayifuilaSubstituted forHarmonat 70′minutes

Substitutes

  • 7Edwards
  • 10Dhanda
  • 11Sims
  • 12Johnson
  • 14Loturi
  • 16Harmon
  • 17Olaigbe
  • 26White
  • 31Eastwood

Celtic

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Hart
  • 88Juranovic
  • 20Carter-Vickers
  • 6JenzBooked at 64mins
  • 3Taylor
  • 33O’Riley
  • 42McGregor
  • 14TurnbullSubstituted forGiakoumakisat 73′minutes
  • 17Neves Filipe
  • 8FuruhashiSubstituted forMooyat 85′minutes
  • 38MaedaSubstituted forAbadaat 45′minutesBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 4Starfelt
  • 7Giakoumakis
  • 11Abada
  • 13Mooy
  • 16McCarthy
  • 25Bernabei
  • 31Siegrist
  • 49Forrest
  • 56Ralston

Referee:
Don Robertson

Attendance:
5,502

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