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1997-10-15: Dunfermline 0-1 Celtic, League Cup SF
|Match Pictures | Matches: 1997 - 1998 | 1997-1998 Pictures|
- Paul McStay, following retirement at the end of the previous season, was appointed to the Scottish Professional Footballers Association with specific responsibility for youth and education.
- Andy Walker, then at Sheffield Utd was told he had no future there and was attempting to win a loan move to Aberdeen. This came to nothing but in December he was loaned to Hibernian for 3 months.
- Celtic signed a deal with Scottish Media Group to make a 1 hour weekly television special to air on SKY Scottish on Sundays. To be known as 'The Celtic Hour' the programmes would be screened at 7pm on Sundays.
- Ex-Celt Nigel Melly was charged with assault and ordered to pay £600 compensation and serve 160 hours community service following a Halloween Party fight in Omagh. He was playing for Omagh Town at the time.
- The game was played at Ibrox, Hampden being out of commision and under revamp as the SFA white elephant.
- There had been a 10 day break between this game and the previous league win against Kilmarnock due to international fixtures
- Darren Jackson was still on the raod to recovery from hydrocephalus, Morten Wieghorst was out with a hamstring strain picked up playing for Denmark in a 0-0 draw against Greece which guaranteed them qualification for Euro '98 in France, Brian McLaughlin was out with a ankle ligament strain. Mahe (knee) and Larsson (back) were also both nursing injuries.
- Dunfermiline fielded the newly signed Brazilin midfielder Sergio Duarte. The Pars had signed him on a 1 year deal from Portugeezers Boavista. He missed the Dunfermiline team bus after this game.
ReviewMy memories are of playing with ease in atrocious weather without scoring until Burley finally put one away but still needing Johnny Gould to make a great save at the end.
Westwater; Shields, Tod, Barnett, Millar (Miller, 56); Curran, Duarte (Den Bieman, 81), French; Bingham (Britton, 70); Moore, Smith.
Booked: Millar (Dunfermiline)
Stubbs, Rieper, Mahe;
McNamara, Burley, Larsson, O'Donnell, Boyd;
Blinker (Thom, 88); Donnelly,
Unused Subs: Hannah, Annoni.
Scorer: Burley, 69
Referee: W Young (Clarkston).
- Match Report (see below)
|Shots on Target||2||7|
- JONATHAN GOULD: Had two shots to deal with. Only mistake was forgetting to bring a smoking jacket, King Edward and a good book to pass the time.
- TOM BOYD: Reinstated at right-back,had little defending to do but, like most of his team mates lacked creativity. Determination was never in doubt.
- STEPHANE MAHE: Kept Allan Moore in his pocket and his energy in reserve. Rarely strayed over the halfway line - obviously as Wim Jansen wanted it.
- JACKIE McNAMARA: Intelligent running posed Dunfermline problems. Delivery from bye-line sometimes let him down but his run and cross set up goal.
- MARC RIEPER: Showed his class early on with an outside of the foot pass for Larsson but at fault when he failed to cut out an Ian Westwater clearance, allowing David Bingham Dunfermline's only chance.
- ALAN STUBBS: Vast improvement on his namesake, Una, who played for most of last season. Rarely gave Andy Smith a look-in, played confidently and almost opened the scoring with a header.
- HENRIK LARSSON: Worked tirelessly up front. Teed up Burley for the goal with a typically clever lay-off.
- CRAIG BURLEY: Boyd was skipper but Burley led by example, running the midfield with little help. Came close twice with long-range efforts before shooting Celtic into the final.
- SIMON DONNELLY: Linked well with Larsson early on but not as the match progressed. Looked to have won a 68th minute penalty. Overall, had one of his poorest games this season.
- PHIL O'DONNELL: Replaced the injured Morten Wieghorst in midfield but never really got into the match.
- REGI BLINKER: Often isolated on the left, yet looked in the mood. Gave Greg Shields an early roasting.
- ANDREAS THOM: Sub for Blinker - too late to make an impact.
Burley keeps his cool to fire Celtic into finalThe Scotsman 15/10/1997
Celtic 1 Burley (70) Dunfermline 0
Celtic overcame some shocking conditions and a powerful Ibrox hoodoo last night to secure their place in the Coca-Cola Cup final. Despite their status as odds-on favourites, the Parkhead side never expected anything other than spirited resistance from Dunfermline, and that is precisely what they encountered.
But Craig Burley's superb goal 20 minutes from the end gave Celtic a deserved victory. They were in control for most of the match and the Fife side at times were threatened with serious damage.
Yet Bert Paton's resolute fighters still managed to force Jonathan Gould into a match-saving stop from Hamish French two minutes from time.
Burley said: "It's been a great week so far, with Scotland qualifying for the World Cup and now Celtic in the cup final.
"To be honest, "It wasn't a vintage match, but we've been playing very well and we know we can't produce that every time we play. That's five goals I've scored and I'll keep having a pop."
Former Dunfermline player Jackie McNamara added: "I think it was a psychological barrier for us to get through to the final after previous experiences at Ibrox. In fact, until Craig [Burley] scored that goal, I was beginning to wonder if we had another Falkirk on our hands.
"I'm sorry for Dunfermline, my old team, but this means a lot to me."
Paton was philosophical in defeat. "After last year's 6-1 drubbing by Rangers in the semi-final, maybe we're getting a little closer to the Old Firm but it's still sickening to lose a semi-final," he said.
"Celtic are a good team, but our defence did well, keeping Larsson and Donnelly quiet. I thought the only one likely to score was the fella who did."
Almost uninterrupted rain throughout the day had left the playing surface as treacherous as a winter slide. Yet, for long periods, Celtic appeared capable of reproducing the quick, accurate passing and intelligent running and dribbling which have marked their resurgence in the last few weeks.
Regi Blinker, returning after a month's absence with a dislocated shoulder, was especially nimble.
By the time the Dutchman prompted a fingertip save from Ian Westwater in the 29th minute with a powerful, rising left-foot drive from 20 yards, Celtic had spent most of the time marauding around their opponents' territory.
Indeed, it was not until four minutes from the interval that Dunfermline enjoyed the little break that gave them their only opportunity of the first half.
A long ball from Westwater bounced and skidded into the Celtic area, allowing David Bingham to run clear just to the right of goal with only Gould to beat. But the occasion must have sabotaged his nerve as he pulled his right-foot drive wide.
That had not been the case at the other end, a succession of sweet manoeuvres had allowed Celtic some chances. They could have been ahead as early as the second minute when McNamara was released down the right and swept the ball towards the six-yard box.
As Simon Donnelly rushed to make contact, Dave Barnett luged in on the seat of his pants and managed to flick the ball wide of his own goal as his impetus carried him over the goal-line.
But the most captivating move of that half arrived in the 15th minute and was started by Marc Rieper. The towering Dane found McNamara on the right with a clever flick and the wing-back rifled the ball forward to Henrik Larsson.
The Swede, showing remarkable control on the run, then supplied Donnelly to his left. The striker shimmied away from two defenders as he sought to create shooting space, but Andy Tod recovered quickly to deflect Donnelly's low drive for a corner kick.
Celtic's play during this period was admirably inventive and entertaining given the conditions.
But Burley's low drive from the right side of the area was uncharacteristically feeble and Westwater had only to stoop to pick up the ball.
Burley's next effort, from more than 20 yards, was much more cleanly struck, a fierce volley with his left foot that rose marginally too high.
When Burley finally gave Celtic the lead after 70 minutes, the goal was not only beautifully executed, but unarguably deserved by the scorer as well as his team.
The midfielder's intelligent, composed leadership had been as telling a feature as Blinker's ball play on the left flank. This time, Burley was standing 20 yards out when McNamara's cross from the right was played out to him by Larsson. The midfielder's right-foot drive was perfectly controlled, low and powerful as it streaked into the bottom right-hand corner of Westwater's net.
It was a sad moment for the big goalkeeper, for he had earlier brought off the kind of save that must have had the Celtic fans tremulous over the possibility that their Ibrox bogey, acquired in recent years with a succession of appalling results at the stadium of their greatest rivals, would assert itself once again.
Blinker's corner kick from the right saw Burley flick the ball on to the head of the diving Rieper, who sent it towards the line from only seven yards. The Celtic support were already acclaiming a goal when Westwater came to the rescue.
Manager InterviewWim Jansen said,:
"We had to show a lot of patience and did, getting our reward in the end.
"We had some players that didn't play particularly well in the first half but as a team you can always change that situation.
"We knew it wouldn't be an easy game and in the first half had problems with the high balls - we didn't pick the second ball coming out.
"In the second half we started to play better, more in our own style. They had one chance in each half but we had plenty of opportunities."
"When you come to a club like this you come to win cups and it is important for the club and the fans to be in a cup final."
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