Pinkafeld 1-6 Celtic - three things we learned

By Hamish Carton

June 26, 2019

Celtic got over an early setback to beat SC Pinkafeld and get their pre-season off to a winning start. The Hoops went behind to an early Michael Pahr opener but soon fought back to win 6-1.

Leigh Griffiths netted on his return to the first-team at the end of the first-half before half-time substitutes Mikey Johnston and Ewan Henderson had us well in front. Amstrong Oko-Flex, Jack Aitchison and a second from Johnston added the gloss on a good afternoon for Neil Lennon and his players.

Lennon’s men will have far bigger tests as the season goes on but we can still draw some conclusions from the win in the Austrian sunshine. Let’s take a look at three things we learned.

Armstrong Oko-Flex is a player

Fans will have been pleased with the 17-year-old’s Celtic bow. The teenager looked calm in possession and got in some neat areas between the midfield and attack. He was perhaps unfortunate to be flagged up for fouls on a couple of occasions in the first-half but got his reward after the break – netting the fourth goal.

(Photo by Vagelis Georgariou/Action Plus via Getty Images)

He looks lively and keen to impress. That’s about all you can ask of a youngster on his debut. There’s more to come from him for sure.

Leigh Griffiths hasn’t lost his instincts

So much will have been made of the Celtic frontman’s return to first-team action. The Scotland striker had missed so many months of action that the game against Pinkafeld almost felt like a debut.

If it had been a debut, then we would have been pretty impressed. Griffiths clearly hasn’t lost any of his goalscoring instincts (see his tap-in goal) or his opportunism (see his attempted free-kick after just two minutes).

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

The 28-year-old will be all the better for his first appearance and goal of 2019. He can only go from strength to strength from here.

Henderson and Robertson shouldn’t play together

Commentators will be hoping that Hoops duo Ewan Henderson and Scott Robertson aren’t seen playing together two often. The midfielders both played the second-half and let’s just say they look very similar.

In fact, there was even some confusion about who had scored Celtic’s third goal. One Hoops fanpage replied to the official Celtic account on Twitter after they had awarded the 25-yard strike to Henderson. They were adamant it was in fact Robertson, before being roundly shot down by the club.