Moritz Jenz celebrates his winning goal on his debut
Moritz Jenz rescued Celtic with a late goal on his debut as the Scottish Premiership champions rallied to overcome impressive Ross County.
Kyogo Furuhashi rewarded the visitors’ heavy pressure when he converted Jota’s cutback shortly after the interval.
But Alex Iacovitti thundered in a header to equalise and Joe Hart superbly denied County’s Owura Edwards.
Jenz glanced home in the 84th minute and Liel Abada added a sensational third in injury time.
For all their 83% possession in the first half, Celtic failed to find a breakthrough as County provided stout resistance.
Jota’s attempt was diverted narrowly wide by Jack Baldwin and Daizen Maeda failed to keep a header low enough to trouble Ross Laidlaw.
Kyogo and Jota combined well on the edge of the box to set up the former for a shot that was saved well by the County goalkeeper.
As the half drew to a close, Celtic’s frustration grew as Matt O’Riley had a chance blocked by an exceptional sliding challenge from Baldwin and Maeda forced Laidlaw into a reflex save.
The game burst to life within minutes of the restart as Callum McGregor played a weighted pass to Jota, who took an intelligent touch past a defender before picking out Kyogo in front of goal for a simple finish.
The goal seemed to intensify County’s endeavour, as they enjoyed decent attacking possession before Iacovitti bulleted home an Edwards corner just short of the hour.
Celtic toiled in search of a second goal until centre-back Jenz glanced a header home from a terrific Jota cross to send the travelling support wild.
Intricate play on the edge of the area allowed Abada to finish off an impressive attacking move with a curling effort in injury time to guarantee all three points.
Man of the match – Jota
As much as Ross County frustrated the away side, the Portuguese winger recorded three assists and was instrumental in victory
No cause for County concern
Ross County have zero points from a possible six, but they still have more than enough potential to be a surprise package this season.
An impressive attacking display on the opening weekend and a solid defensive performance this afternoon will give Malky Mackay more than enough encouragement as the season gets going.
For Celtic, what a coup Jota’s signing is. The winger, who shone on loan last season before returning on a permanent deal this summer, notched three assists in another inspirational display.
A potential downside for Ange Postecoglou will be how frustrated his side were in the opening 45 minutes. 82% possession, 339 passes, 112 in the final third, yet only three shots on target.
The strength in depth of his bench, though, proved crucial with Abada making an impact after his half-time introduction.
Ross County are away to St Mirren on Saturday 13 August (15:00 BST), while Celtic are away to Kilmarnock the following day at noon.
More to follow.
- Squad number16Player nameHarmon
- Squad number12Player nameJohnson
- Squad number26Player nameWhite
- Squad number6Player nameIacovitti
- Squad number14Player nameLoturi
- Squad number7Player nameEdwards
- Squad number1Player nameLaidlaw
- Squad number22Player nameTillson
- Squad number3Player namePurrington
- Squad number24Player namePaton
- Squad number4Player nameCancola
- Squad number2Player nameRandall
- Squad number5Player nameBaldwin
- Squad number8Player nameCallachan
- Squad number9Player nameSamuel
- Squad number19Player nameHiwula-Mayifuila
- Squad number17Player nameJota
- Squad number6Player nameJenz
- Squad number11Player nameAbada
- Squad number8Player nameFuruhashi
- Squad number20Player nameCarter-Vickers
- Squad number33Player nameO’Riley
- Squad number1Player nameHart
- Squad number42Player nameMcGregor
- Squad number3Player nameTaylor
- Squad number88Player nameJuranovic
- Squad number14Player nameTurnbull
- Squad number38Player nameMaeda
- Squad number7Player nameGiakoumakis
- Squad number13Player nameMooy
- 2RandallBooked at 68mins
Substituted forJohnsonat 71’minutes
- 8CallachanBooked at 12mins
- 4CancolaBooked at 47mins
Substituted forWhiteat 83’minutes
- 22TillsonBooked at 31mins
Substituted forLoturiat 45’minutes
Substituted forEdwardsat 45’minutes
Substituted forHarmonat 70’minutes
- 6JenzBooked at 64mins
Substituted forGiakoumakisat 73’minutes
- 17Neves Filipe
Substituted forMooyat 85’minutes
Substituted forAbadaat 45’minutesBooked at 90mins
Match ends, Ross County 1, Celtic 3.
Second Half ends, Ross County 1, Celtic 3.
Foul by Liel Abada (Celtic).
Ben Purrington (Ross County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Offside, Ross County. Victor Loturi tries a through ball, but Alex Iacovitti is caught offside.
Liel Abada (Celtic) is shown the yellow card for excessive celebration.
Goal! Ross County 1, Celtic 3. Liel Abada (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Jota.
Offside, Ross County. Jordan Tillson tries a through ball, but Victor Loturi is caught offside.
Offside, Ross County. Victor Loturi tries a through ball, but Ben Purrington is caught offside.
Substitution, Celtic. Aaron Mooy replaces Kyogo Furuhashi.
Goal! Ross County 1, Celtic 2. Moritz Jenz (Celtic) header from the centre of the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Jota with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Jack Baldwin.
Substitution, Ross County. Jordan White replaces David Cancola.
Foul by Liel Abada (Celtic).
Ben Purrington (Ross County) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Attempt blocked. George Harmon (Ross County) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Owura Edwards.
Hand ball by Victor Loturi (Ross County).
Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Jordan Tillson.
Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Victor Loturi.
Attempt blocked. Matt O’Riley (Celtic) left footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Josip Juranovic.