Soccer: Furuhashi on target as Celtic inch closer to title

Kyogo Furuhashi headed an early opening goal Sunday for Celtic, who took another step toward the Scottish Premiership title with a 2-0 win away to Ross County.

Furuhashi met a high ball from Portuguese winger Jota in the 12th minute at Victoria Park to register his first goal since December and his 17th across all competitions this season.

The Japanese star made his return for the Glasgow club earlier this month after missing three and a half months with a hamstring injury.

"(Three) important points today! Well done, team! Thanks for your support always!" he tweeted after the win.

Fellow Japan internationals Reo Hatate and Daizen Maeda also started for Celtic, who added a second goal through Jota in the 87th minute.

Celtic, managed by former Yokohama F Marinos boss Ange Postecoglou, hold a six-point lead over cross-city rivals Rangers and can effectively seal the title with a victory when the two sides meet in the Old Firm derby on Sunday.

In the Belgian top flight, Samurai Blue winger Kaoru Mitoma struck the final goal for Royale Union Saint-Gilloise in their 3-1 win over Anderlecht on the opening day of the championship playoffs.

The 24-year-old attacking talent, who missed much of January and February with an ankle injury, sped past a defender at the back post in the 52nd minute to tap in his first goal since Dec. 18.

"The defender wasn't watching me when I made the run," Mitoma said. "We still have five games (in the playoffs), so I want to focus on our next match against Antwerp."

In the Swiss top division, Hayao Kawabe netted his seventh league goal for Grasshopper Club Zurich in their 3-1 win against Lausanne.

© Kyodo News