Celtic proved too strong for second-tier Inverness as they claimed the Scottish Cup and a fifth domestic treble in seven seasons - watchtower media

Celtic proved too strong for second-tier Inverness Caledonian Thistle as they claimed the Scottish Cup and a fifth domestic treble in seven seasons.

Inverness were looking to cause one of the tournament's biggest final shocks, and defended stoutly until the prolific Kyogo Furuhashi turned in his 34th goal of the season with virtually his first touch as half-time approached.

The deluge of goals that might have been expected never followed, but substitute Liel Abada finished a slick move to put Celtic firmly in control and start the treble party for the Premiership champions.

However, out of nothing, Daniel MacKay stooped to head in Wallace Duffy's wonderful cross with six minutes left to suddenly give the final life and the small corner of Inverness fans some hope again.

But as they have all season, Celtic persisted and Abada's dinked cross was eventually turned home in stoppage time by Jota to seal a 40th Scottish Cup and yet another domestic clean sweep.

Manager Ange Postecoglou has now won five of the six domestic trophies available since joining the club in the summer of 2021, but the question is whether the Australian will be around for more amid links to to the Tottenham job.

Regardless, he has achieved what he was brought in to do - restore Celtic as the Scottish football's dominant force - and he has done so in emphatic fashion, also becoming the manager to take the club past their great rivals Rangers on to eight trebles won.

It was far from a vintage performance from Celtic, though, at a sun-soaked and mostly green and white Hampden.

Inverness, who finished sixth in the Championship and had not played a game for nearly a month, were well drilled by manager Billy Dodds and gave precious few chances to an uncharacteristically sluggish Celtic.

But Kyogo has shown all season he only needs one sight of goal, and the Japanese striker tucked the ball into the top corner from Matt O'Riley's cross for his fifth cup final goal in a Celtic jersey.

Even the small blue and red band of

Inverness fans might have feared the worst at that point, but their team stuck at it despite posing little threat.

Celtic looked home and hosed by the 65th minute when Abada tapped in Callum McGregor's cross to make it 2-0, which allowed the club's fans to party in the sunshine on Glasgow's south side.

But from nowhere, Duffy surged down Celtic's right-hand side and picked out a diving MacKay and set up an exciting finish.

But Celtic celebrations were only on hold for six minutes. Jota went tearing off to celebrate with the delirious fans after taking one touch before burying Abada's cross to seal the win.

Mission accomplished for Postecoglou and Celtic, even if it was less emphatic than many expected. Their fans, who are living through an era of dominance, will not care.

Postecoglou has now won everything in Scottish football, taking Celtic from 25 points behind Rangers when he arrived to back-to-back champions and now treble winners, while bringing an effervescent style of play.

Just before Celtic lifted the trophy, fans sang in tribute to their totemic manager, in another plea to show just how much he is loved in Glasgow's east end. The Aussie took it all in quietly, soaking in the atmosphere and applauding, before getting a massive cheers when he hoisted the trophy.

Who knows what's going through his head. He has expertly avoided saying whether he will be at the club next season or not amid persistent links to Spurs.

Whether he goes or not, his time at Celtic will be revered.

As for Inverness, they gave it absolutely everything and unsurprisingly fell just short.

Not playing competitively for a month before the final was hardly ideal preparation, but they looked as though they had been coached brilliantly in the interim to frustrate Celtic in the first half.

They deserved their goal at the end for sheer effort and resilience, and it made for a frantic final few minutes. Dodds and his team can walk away with their heads held high.

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