sport news Celtic 3-0 Raith: Postecoglou's side cruise past the underdogs to secure a spot ...

sport news Celtic 3-0 Raith: Postecoglou's side cruise past the underdogs to secure a spot ...
sport news Celtic 3-0 Raith: Postecoglou's side cruise past the underdogs to secure a spot ...

The disco lights called into service to mark every home goal at Celtic Park may yet prove a costly piece of kit.

With 27 net-bulging strikes, neat finishes and ‘they-all-count’ scrambled efforts now on the board from just eight fixtures across four different competitions, rising energy prices are the last thing they need.

But what’s an extra few 50-pence pieces for the meter, when the pay-off is as tantalising as this?

Ange Postecoglou's side cruised past Raith to secure a place in the semi-final of the Cup

Ange Postecoglou's side cruised past Raith to secure a place in the semi-final of the Cup

Ange Postecoglou will get his first experience of leading at team out at Hampden next month when Celtic face reigning champions St Johnstone.

The occasion is a notable milestone for any manager new to the Scottish scene. And the ambitious Aussie will deserve his moment in the spotlight.

On Thursday, his team simply overpowered Raith Rovers in quarter-final that, even before Dario Zanatta’s red card had reduced the lower-league visitors to ten men early in the second half, rarely came close to being a genuine contest.

The Scottish giants beat the underdogs 3-0 on their home turf on Thursday evening

The Scottish giants beat the underdogs 3-0 on their home turf on Thursday evening

Celtic's three goals came from Joao Felix, Liel Abada and David Turnbull (right)

Celtic's three goals came from Joao Felix, Liel Abada and David Turnbull (right)

The bare facts? A first Celtic goal for Joa Jota, courtesy of a sublime James McCarthy assist, set the hosts on their way after 25 minutes.

When Liel Abada made it 2-0 by finishing off the rebound on a Jota shot just before half-time, the Premiership side were already halfway to Mount Florida.

MATCH FACTS 

Celtic: Hart; Ralston, Carter-Vickers, Starfelt, Montgomery; McCarthy, Turnbull, Rogic; Abada, Jota, Ajeti Subs: Bain, Scales, Bitton, Giakoumakis, Soro, Bolingoli, Urhoghide, Welsh, Juranovic.

Raith: MacDonald, Dick, Berra, Benedictus, Tumilty, Riley-Snow, Connolly, Tait, Matthews, Zanatta, Varian. Subs: Keatings, Lang, McKay, Thomson, Fotheringham, Mitchell

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A David Turnbull strike just after the break reduced this quarter-final to an exercise in damage limitation by the visitors.

Zanatta picking up two yellow cards in the space of six minutes didn’t help their cause.

If John McGlynn’s second-tier men actually played with a bit more width and adventure when a man short, well, that hardly mattered.

Celtic could afford to cruise over the line, withdrawing key players and handing match time to some who might have expected to start this sort of game, in less stressful circumstances.

Postecoglou had paid Raith the complement, if you could call it that, of making just three changes to the starting XI humble by Livingston at the weekend. He couldn’t afford anything to go wrong in this one.

Against Championship opponents who set up to defend deep, clog up the central corridors and force play down the flanks, the full-backs and wingers were going to be key.

As if to lay down a marker, Jota actually came close to

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