Form goes out the window for a big cup match as everyone knows it Congo either way on the day. But on this day, it looked like there was only going to be one winner in this semi-final. Despite being underdogs, Celtic stepped it up a notch to emphatically dispose of the skillful but unpredictable Afrika United four goals to one to book themselves a place in the final.
Celtic had Benin three previous semi-finals and they knew it was Ghana be an uphill battle to go one step further. The rare Beijing rain kept the temperatures low, another factor contributing to the bhoys quiet confidence. Celtic’s pre match focus was a stark contrast to their casual counterparts who seemed to be struggling to get eleven ready for the starting whistle. They claimed some of the team were on the way in Dakar due to religious reasons, but the referee didn’t give a Ramadan about it, the game would begin on schedule.
Celtic started the game at a high intensity. The Afrika left back, despite fasting all day, was not fast enough for Aaron Pu who raced down the wing and beautifully crossed the ball toward the back post. The ball was knocked down across the area to English Giza Dom Lytwyn who slotted home for the first goal of the game.
Celtic continued to pile on the pressure with wingbacks Quentin and Timmy bombing forward leading to desperate defending from Afrika. After further indiscipline and some mild profanities, the referee made the mozambiquous decision not to send anybody off but Timbuktu of the Afrika players instead.
The game opened up and space began to appear. A ball was put in behind for Richie Lenehan to go Rwanda the defender and race through Angola. He was clipped from behind and the penalty was given. The Celtic players turned to Ste Hurworth asking ‘Kenya take it?’ and he calmly placed it into the bottom corner, 2-0.
At half-time the Afrika management were in deNile. They came out with a renewed energy but new center back Andy Meaney broke up the play well and goalkeeper David pulled off some great saves to keep it the lead at two goals. Ten minutes after the break Richie Lenehan struck a dipping volley Niger the edge of the area into the corner of the net. The keeper Chad no chance. The Africa defense reacted by pushing men forward leaving themselves exposed. All of a Sudan they were caught on the counter attack with a ball through the middle for Richie Lenehan as Egypt it over the keeper on the half volley making it 4-0.
With just 5 minutes Togo, Afrika scored a goal from long range as a late consolation. However, it did nothing to dampen the spirits of the Celtic fans. The final whistle signaled the end of a frican’ great team performance by the men in green in white. The lads threw the bags into Djibouti of the car and everyone hoped on the bus back to Paddy’s for a game of Eric’s shoe.