Celtic wins league in Scotland for 2nd part of treble bid
It’s two down and one to go for treble-chasing Celtic in Scottish soccer.
The Glasgow club clinched the second leg of its latest bid for three domestic trophies in one season by retaining the league title Sunday with four games to spare.
A 2-0 win at Hearts left Celtic with an unassailable lead over second-place Rangers, its fierce city rival, in the Scottish Premiership.
Rangers, beware. Celtic now has 53 league titles in its history — only two off Rangers’ record haul of 55 — after winning a 11th championship in the last 12 years.
Celtic had already won the Scottish League Cup, beating Rangers 2-1 in the final in February, and plays Inverness Caledonian Thistle in the Scottish FA Cup final on June 3 in an attempt to complete the treble — a feat the team achieved every year from 2017-20.
Celtic has only lost one of its 34 league games this season — at St. Mirren in September — and there was little danger of a second defeat after Hearts defender Alex Cochrane was sent off in the 45th minute with the score at 0-0 at Tynecastle.
Japan striker Kyogo Furuhashi bundled in the opening goal in the 67th and had to go off moments later with an injury sustained in the act of scoring.
South Korea striker Oh Hyeon-gyu then glanced in the second goal in the 80th to secure victory for Celtic and a second straight league title under its Australian manager, Ange Postecoglou.
The only other team to win a Scottish league title since 2012 was Rangers in 2021, when Liverpool great Steven Gerrard was manager of the team in the blue half of Glasgow. That prevented an unprecedented 10th straight league title for Celtic, which has bounced back with two in a row.
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Steve Douglas, The Associated Press