Cameron Carter-Vickers was not called up to the U.S. men’s national team squad, leaving him available to anchor the defense for Celtic as they escaped with a win over Hearts in midweek Scottish Premiership action.
Hearts 1-2 Celtic
Celtic scored both goals in the first half and had to hold on in the second to claim the win over Hearts at Tynecastle Park to remain four points from the top spot.
Cameron Carter-Vickers put in another strong display for the Hoops, completing 86 percent of his passes, winning 10 duels.
After some back-and-forth to open the game, the visitors broke the deadlock in the 27th minute when recent signee Reo Hatate cranked a shot from long range that Hearts’ goalkeeper Craig Gordon would not get his hands on.
Celtic doubled their lead eight minutes later when Matthew O’Riely’s low cross from the right side found Giorgos Giakoumakis near the six-yard box to backheel into the goal.
Ange Postecoglou’s team should have scored more goals in the second half as they had the advantage, but Gordon did well to make some key saves to keep the score at 2-0.
Hearts then found a lifeline in the 62nd minute when Liam Boyce ran on to a pass from Barry McKay to place his shot past Celtic goalkeeper Joe Hart.
Things got really intense later on when the referee awarded a penalty to the hosts after seeing a Celtic player handle the ball in the area. This was Boyce’s chance to level the score, but his spot-kick crashed off the post and out of play.
In the end, a very fortunate win for Celtic as they keep the pressure on their Glasgow rivals in the title race.
Celtic remains in second place in the standings with 51 points.
In other Scottish Premiership action, Christian Ramirez could not get on the scoresheet as Aberdeen was beaten by St. Mirren in a 1-0 lose.
Ian Harkes went the distance for Dundee United as a stoppage-time goal saw them come away with a 2-1 win over Ross County.
Christopher Mueller started his second game for Hibernian as they shared the points with Motherwell following a 0-0 draw.
James Sands returned to the starting lineup and played 60 minutes as SPL leaders Rangers recorded a 1-0 win over Livingston.