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Furuhashi makes scoring return as Celtic close on title

Glasgow (AFP) – Celtic closed in on the Scottish Premiership title as Kyogo Furuhashi marked his first start in four months with the opening goal in a 2-0 win at Ross County.

Jota forced home the second for Ange Postecoglou’s men late on to restore a six-point lead over Rangers with four games to play.

Given Celtic’s 19-goal advantage on goal difference, victory in next weekend’s Old Firm derby at Celtic Park will virtually guarantee the title for the Hoops.

Celtic dropped just two points in 14 league games since Furuhashi limped off with a serious hamstring injury on Boxing Day.

But the Japan international showed what the league leaders have been missing as it took less than 12 minutes for him to head home Jota’s pinpoint cross.

Furuhashi should have had more as he had another goal ruled out for offside, saw a mishit shot loop off the crossbar and was denied by a stunning save from Ross Laidlaw after the goalkeeper had spilled Matt O’Riley’s inital effort.

The second-half was a tense affair as the visitors struggled to add to their advantage without ever conceding a clear chance to County to level.

And Celtic finally got the two-goal cushion they craved three minutes from time when Jota followed up to add the finishing touch after Georgios Giakoumakis hit the bar.

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