In an old firm derby for the ages, Celtic lifted the Scottish Youth FA Cup in an 11-goal thriller against holders Rangers!
A true end-to-end game saw comebacks, fatigue, drama, and extra time.
Reaching back to 2014/15, these sides have met three times in finals with Celtic winning twice both in that year and 2016/17, and Rangers winning in 2018/19.
Celtic have a great history in this competition having reached the final 20 times, winning 15.
Rangers have a better percentage of finals victories – eight wins out of ten is 80%, better than Celtic’s 75%.
Route to the Final
In the blue corner, the holders come into the final without conceding a goal in their four games so far in this tournament, a 3-0 win against Stirling Albion away at the Forthbank Stadium set up a rematch of last year’s semi-finals against Hibs. That game finished 2-0, the fourth round was a comfortable 4-0 win against Motherwell and, lastly, a 3-0 win at Ibrox against Hamilton put them in back-to-back finals.
And in the green corner, Celtic were out for redemption after a fourth-round knockout at the hands of Hibernian in last year’s competition. The hoops entered in the second round where they dismantled Dundee 4-0 before demolishing Deveronvale 11-0 in the third round. In the fourth round they defeated Dunfermline Athletic 6-1 to book a semi-final matchup against St. Johnstone where they won 4-0.
Rangers got the game started as, almost immediately, Findlay Curtis grabbed the opener, but it was pulled back due to a foul on the Celtic goalkeeper, Jamie Meikle.
For the first five or so minutes, you could tell who the more experienced side in this setting was as Rangers settled into the game quicker. That proved correct as in the 19th minute Jack Roberts converted with a lovely finish from an over-the-top ball.
But going a goal down would prove to be a gift and a curse for Rangers, as, six minutes later, Celtic grabbed a quickfire double with the first being a creation off a Mitchel Frame and Daniel Kelly one-two, the former of which powered it past Jacob Pazikas to grab the equaliser. Two minutes later Corey Thomson received a smart ball from Magnus Mackenzie. Thomson cut inside and slotted it past the keeper with his left.
In the 33rd minute, Rangers struck again with Lovelace as he received a defence splitting ball from Bailey Rice, Lovelace then found Jack Roberts who tapped it past Meikle – who was replaced at the half.
Two minutes later, though, after great pressure from the hoops, Pazikas parried the ball to his left. It fell to the feet of Daniel Kelly who tapped it in.
And to close off a manic 45 minutes, Archie Stevens danced into the box and slotted the ball into the back of the net to get his second and Rangers’ third.
A hectic opening half left everything to play for in the second.
Rangers struck first after the break. Josh Dede pulled down Lovelace in the box and Findlay Curtis, who scored the offside goal in the first minute, got his redemption as he sent Marcus Gill the wrong way to get the advantage.
On the hour mark, Celtic got the equaliser again. Frame and Kyle Ure played a one-two at the edge of the box. Frame then played it across the ground to Daniel Cummings who got his fifth goal of the tournament.
Thomas Hatton could have got Celtic the lead back immediately as he was one-on-one with Pazikas but the Rangers shot stopper saved it strongly.
Rangers nearly bagged another. Bailey Rice sent a ball in from a deep free kick, it looked to be going to land on Tyler Pasnik’s head to go in the back of the net, but Lenny Agbaire strongly sent it out for a corner kick.
With 15 minutes to go, looking for the winner, Magnus Mackenzie went on a brilliant solo run, faking out the defenders with every touch but, despite getting the ball to Lewis Dobbie and Kelly, nothing came out of it.
As extra-time loomed, players dropped to the ground with cramp and both sides used all their substitutes in desperate need of a goal for their team.
Celtic were given a lifeline as Zak Lovelace saw a second yellow for diving in the 85th minute. Nothing came of it in the closing stages though, which ushered in the dreaded additional 30 minutes of extra time.
Benny Jackson-Luyeye had the first chance of extra time, but his long-range driver was sent wide.
In the 96th minute, Daniel Cummings got on the end of an amazing Jude Bonnar cross and managed to side-foot his effort into the back of the net.
Celtic then had the chance to extend their lead at the beginning of the second half of extra time. Luyeye played a great ball across, but Cummings failed to keep his diving header low.
In the 113th minute though, the first two-goal lead of the game came. Luyeye played the ball low, and Lewis Dobbie got the sixth goal for the Hoops with a lovely backheel finish.
Tyler Paslik grabbed one back for Rangers in added time but, it was too late as it was the last of the action.
Celtic overcome their cross-city rivals in one of the closest matchups you could wish for and took the Scottish Youth Cup back to Glasgow’s east end.
Rangers Magic Moment:
The gers magic moment came when they got the equaliser on the brink of half-time in the first half. A great goal from Archie Stevens, who brought his dancing shoes to Hampden.
Celtic Magic Moment:
For the victors, the Lewis Dobbie backheel for his sides sixth was the magic moment as he sealed the goal that delivered the trophy back to Parkhead.
- Jacob Pazikas (GK)
- Zander Hutton
- Cameron Scott
- Leyton Grant
- Kristian Webster ©
- Kerr Robertson
- Zakariya Lovelace
- Bailey Rice
- Jack Roberts
- Findlay Curtis
- Archie Stevens
- Zak McKay
- Jack Wylie
- Calum Adamson
- Paul Nsio
- Tyler Pasnik
- Christopher Eadie
- Mason Munn (GK)
- Jamie Meikle (GK)
- Josh Dede
- Magnus Mackenzie
- Lenny Agbaire
- Mitchell Robertson
- Kyle Ure ©
- Thomas Hatton
- Daniel Kelly
- Daniel Cummings
- Corey Thomson
- Mitchel Frane
- Benny-Jackson Luyeye
- Marcus Gill (GK)
- Aiden Haddow
- Alasdair Davidson
- Francis Turkey
- Jude Bonnar
- Lewis Dobbie
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