Beijing Celtic showed great character to bounce back from their previous 4-1 defeat with a stunning performance showing both their quality and high level of execution to knock six past struggling Kozo.
From the first whistle it was clear that Beijing Celtic had a point to prove and after 20 minutes Beijing’s angriest man Alan Kelly found the ball at his feet just inside the box. He showed quick footwork to control the ball under pressure and place it in off the far left post to make it 1-0. Soon after it could have been 2-0 as a ball flashed across the face of the goal begging to be touched past the stranded keeper, but somehow the Celtic player managed to blaze it over the bar.
My memory is a bit hazy about who missed the open goal chance, but reports have suggested it might have been Kieron Nolan. Meanwhile ever reliable striker Richie Lenehan, in very Simon Hollandesque fashion, made it 2-0 by dispossessing the Kozo defender and converting from the resulting 1 v 1 situation.
Kozo may have felt they were still in the game at 2-0 but Celtic were about to unleash their new secret weapon ‘’Operation Willy’’. New African signing J Williams was introduced off the bench and immediately made an impact.
First, he tied the Japanese defence in knots before putting the ball on a plate for the Celtic striker to slot home from short distance. Shortly after he caused similar mayhem down the wing and got on the scoresheet himself by squeezing the ball past the memorised goalie, 4-0.
In the dying minutes of the match, a kamikaze tackle led to a Dom Lytwyn penalty making it 5-0 (See below). This opportunity was then followed by a beautiful flowing counter-attack, emphatically finished again by Dom Lytwyn who galloped the length of the pitch into the box to latch onto a cross and rifle the ball on the half-volley into the roof of the net. All this excitement and we are still yet to mention Beijing’s very own Duracell bunny Daryl Harkin’s M.O.M performance and Martin’s debut clean sheet in nets.
There are many theories as to why Celtic performed beyond expectation this week. Some say it’s because new Japanese signing Chris Liu is still in the Kozo WeChat group, others say it was because Paul Fogarty wasn’t playing. Whatever the reason Beijing Celtic have stated their intent to challenge for what is shaping up to be a very open IFFC championship.