Celtic skipper Scott Brown hails ‘best feeling ever’ after cup win

Brendan Rodgers: ‘This might be a once-in-a-lifetime achievement’

Celtic captain Scott Brown lifts the Scottish Cup after victory over Aberdeen at Hampden Park. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/ Action Images via Reuters/Livepic

Celtic captain Scott Brown lifts the Scottish Cup after victory over Aberdeen at Hampden Park. Photograph: Jason Cairnduff/ Action Images via Reuters/Livepic

 

Captain Scott Brown hailed the “best feeling ever” as Celtic clinched the treble with a late 2-1 victory over Aberdeen to win the Scottish Cup at Hampden Park.

Aberdeen took the lead early on as Jonny Hayes arrived from outside the 18-yard box to fire home Niall McGinn’s corner after nine minutes with a brilliant finish.

The Dons’ lead did not last long though as Celtic struck back just two minutes later, Stuart Armstrong picking out the bottom corner with a calm and powerful long-range effort to level matters.

Patrick Roberts struck the post as the Hoops searched for a second goal just after the hour mark and they got the winner they fought so hard for in the first minute of added time as first-half substitute Tom Rogic took the ball through the penalty box and slotted past the diving Joe Lewis.

Hoops captain Brown told Sky Sports 1: “It’s incredible. The fans have been unbelievable, they’ve stuck by us all day.

“This is the best feeling ever. For this game, from the start of the season, no one would have expected it. Tom Rogic, with a bit of magic at the end.

We know that if we turn up, we’re the best team in Scotland. But – to be fair – Aberdeen gave us a great game today. They have a great team and they deserved to be second in the league and that’s two cup finals, so well done to them as well.”

Asked if the match had been Celtic’s toughest test this season, Brown added: “Yeah definitely. The cup final, there’s a lot of nerves in it.”

And he praised manager Brendan Rodgers, saying: “The gaffer’s come down and changed our philosophy and we’ve stuck by it. That’s helped today, we’ve been able to keep the ball.

“It’s the best feeling and it’s going to last a long, long time. For the season, what we’ve done – we deserve this!”

Celtic’s Kieran Tierney was substituted midway through the first half and replaced by Rogic after receiving treatment to his mouth following a challenge from Jayden Stockley.

The Australia international was delighted he could provide the late winner at the death despite seeing his team-mate go off injured.

He said: “I’m lost for words, I don’t know what to say. It happened so quick . . . I’m just over the moon.

“It think in the first half we weren’t playing too well and Kieran has been a massive part of what we’ve done this season so it was unfortunate to see him go off.

“But I think in the second half [we deserved the win].”

Rodgers was full of praise for his treble winners and also paid tribute to their opponents, who put up a good fight.

He said: “It’s an incredible feeling and an incredible end to the game.

“I don’t think you can [top this]. This might be a once-in-a-lifetime achievement.

“It was a very tough game. If you want to make history it never comes easy. You have to suffer and work.

“But I give credit to my players and credit to the Aberdeen players because I thought they worked tirelessly throughout the game. But obviously, as the game wore on, the quality and our movement started to pay dividends.

“We left it late really, we had two or three chances where we should have scored earlier.

“It’s an absolutely incredible feeling for the football club, for the staff, for everyone and the players in particular, because they’ve been unbelievable.”

Rodgers also praised Rogic for his late winner, adding: “Fantastic finish, off his right foot as well.

“He’s a wonderful player. We had a choice in the game, do we put on a full back for young Kieran or stay offensive and attacking, and it paid off for us.

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