Daizen Maeda and Giorgos Giakoumakis on target as Celtic reaches Viaplay Cup final

Goals from Daizen Maeda and Giorgos Giakoumakis took Celtic to the Viaplay Cup final, beating the valiant Kilmarnock 2-0 at Hampden Park.

Japanese international Maeda knew little about it when the ball bounced off her chest a few yards from goal in the 18th minute after Aaron Mooy’s free kick.

The owners had two goals chalked up for offside by VAR after the break that kept Derek McInnes’ side in touch.

However, second-half substitute Giakoumakis, who is said to be about to leave Parkhead, caught a second in the fifth minute of the six added to finish off Killie’s side, which put on a determined show in the swirling wind and rain before it arrived. He fell behind against the Scottish champions.

Ange Postecoglou’s team will face either Rangers or Aberdeen in the final, and their last four matches will be played at the national stadium on Sunday.

Celtic won comfortably 2-0 when the weekend cinch visited Killie Parkhead in the Premiership and there were few outside Rugby Park giving the Ayrshire side a chance.

Killie striker Kyle Lafferty was back from a 10-game ban after he was caught using sectarian language in the video, but would have inadvertently contributed to Hoops’ opening goal.

But Danny Armstrong got the Celtic defense in trouble in the opening moments.

Leaning forward, Kyle Vassell had less than 30 seconds to miss the middle of the Kilmarnock winger, who then forced a corner behind Liam Donnelly.

With right-back Josip Juranovic replacing Alistair Johnston, Celtic came under pressure again when defender Carl Starfelt handed the ball to Rory McKenzie, who forced Hoops goalie Joe Hart to make a good save with a low drive.

The Parkhead side started to show itself and soon took the lead.

Lafferty’s attempt to escape from inside the six-yard box landed in Maeda’s chest and into the net as midfielder Mooy fired a free kick into the right box.

The Rugby Park side responded immediately and Hart saved a Joe Wright header before Donnelly headed over the crossbar into the emerging corner, which is the odds McInnes side can’t afford to waste.

Christian Doidge and Liam Polworth took over from Lafferty and Donnelly at the start of the second half.

Celtic midfielder Reo Hatate put the ball down in the 49th minute, but VAR disallowed the goal due to offside and sent the goal away from the penalty area six minutes later.

Maeda defeated Killie goalie Sam Walker 14 yards at the clock mark, but VAR denied him a goal due to an earlier offside to his compatriot Kyogo Furuhashi, who skimmed him.

Celtic were in control, but on the other side, after the Killie break, Armstrong hit the net from the side.

Postecoglou replaced Jota, Furuhashi and Hatate with Giakoumakis, Liel Abada and Matt O’Riley in triple replacements, and Kilmarnock’s Scott Robinson took over from Vassell just before Hart made a fantastic save from Doidge’s close-range shot.

In the 83rd minute, as the game dragged on, Walker jumped low, clearing Mooy’s curling effort, and then Abada missed the goal with a headshot.

But – at the time of death – Giakoumakis, who may have awarded Wright a penalty when he awkwardly challenged Wright inside the penalty area, tapped the ball into an empty net after Walker poured a shot from Hoops replacement friend David Turnbull.

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