GIORGOS GIAKOUMAKIS doubled his Celtic goal return with the opening strike in the 2-1 Scottish Cup fourth round win over third-tier Alloa at the Indodrill Stadium last night.
The £2.5million Greek striker, who was bought by Ange Postecoglou in August after netting 26 goals in the Eredivisie at relegated VVV-Venlo, claimed his first Hoops goal in his side’s 2-0 Premiership victory over St Johnstone at Parkhead in October.
However, a knee injury which required surgery has kept the frontman on the sidelines until he got the nod to face Barry Ferguson’s robust battlers. He settled the early tension when he first-timed a left-wing cross from Liam Scales past the helpless David Hutton into the roof of the net in the 14th minute.
UNSTOPPABLE…Giorgos Giakoumakis thumps the ball high past the stranded David Hutton.
PICK IT OUT…the Celtic striker races away after netting the opening strike.
Liel Abada scorched in what proved to be the winner just before the break and veteran Connor Sammon made certain of some anxiety among the ranks of the visiting fans when he headed one past Joe Hart with 12 minutes to go.
With Kyogo Furuhashi injured and Daizen Maeda heading off for international duty with Japan, Giakoumakis now has the opportunity of a run of games with Hearts due at Tynecastle on Wednesday, Dundee United at Parkhead on Saturday and then Rangers at the same venue four days later.
The powerful attacker, speaking to Celtic TV, said: “It was really a rough time for me. I had to stay out, I had surgery, but I am back.
“This is the most important thing for me, that I am back, healthy and fit and I can say the season starts for me from now.
IT TAKES TWO…Liam Scales and Giorgos Giakoumakis celebrate the breakthrough goal.
“I will give my best in training, try to improve myself, try to be fit again, because if you stay out for a long time, you lose your confidence, your fitness, I will try to gain that back and help my team.
“Of course, goals give a lot of confidence to the strikers. It is our job mostly, to score goals and help the team win games.”
The Premier Sports League Cup winners now face Raith Rovers in the Scottish Cup fifth round at Parkhead on the weekend of February 12/13.
Celtic v Raith Rovers
Motherwell v Aberdeen
Arbroath v Hibs
Annan v Rangers
Hearts v Livingston
Peterhead v Dundee
Partick Thistle v Dundee United
St Mirren v Kelty Hearts