A year of Kyogo Furuhashi: His Top 5 Celtic moments
Celtic fans awoke to a pleasant surprise on the morning of July 16th 2021, with news that the club had signed the J-League’s then top-scorer Kyogo Furuhashi from Vissel Kobe.
Though initially unknown to most if not all Celtic fans, 20 goals in 33 appearances marked a stellar return from an injury-plagued first season.
Fans will hope this is just the beginning in Paradise for the 27-year-old Japanese forward.
In order, here are the top five Kyogo moments in Celtic colours so far…
The Japanese forward followed up his first goal on his first start for Celtic in Poland against Jablonec by rattling a 67 minute hat-trick past the Taysiders on his first start in the Scottish Premiership.
In truth, he could well have helped himself to a couple more too as Postecoglou’s Celts won their first competitive game in Paradise 6-0 in front of a reduced crowd.
Following three straight away league defeats, Celtic travelled to Pittodrie in October knowing anything less than a win would see an already uphill task to regain the Scottish Premiership become borderline impossible.
Kyogo’s improvised finish with his chest set the Bhoys on their way, with an eventual Jota winner sealing a priceless three points in the Granite City.
Many see it as one of the turning points of the season and our Japanese hero played a big role.
Another cagey game in which Kyogo made the difference was the first game in the Europa League double-header against Hungarian side Ferencvaros.
A magnificent Jota assist gave the Japan star only the keeper to beat in front of 50,000 Celtic fans, with the game kicking off at the highly unusual time of 3:30pm on a Tuesday due a multitude of complications including preparation for Glasgow’s COP26 climate conference.
The moment received more formal recognition too, also being voted UEFA’s Goal of the Group Stage for the Europa League.
With games coming thick and fast in December, Kyogo was once again the star on a frigid Thursday night in Paradise, escaping his marker to stab home a much-debated winner at the front post and seal another invaluable three points on the way to the title.
It annoyed all the right people but most importantly really helped Celtic keep momentum at a crucial period of the season.
The League Cup Final
It could hardly have been anything else – the 2021-22 Premier Sports Cup Final win over Hibernian is Kyogo’s finest hour in a Celtic jersey thus far.
Initially a doubt for the game following the Bhoys’ December injury crisis, the Japanese international single-handedly swung the game in Celtic’s favour, his opportunistic equaliser with Hibs celebrations still in full fervour was overshadowed by his magnificent second, a chip on the half-volley that truly merits the distinction of being described as Larsson-esque.