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  • The View’s Favourite… Domestic Goal: Naka’s lightning bolt

    The View’s Favourite… Domestic Goal: Naka’s lightning bolt

    By: Tony Connelly on 25 Mar, 2020 19:01

  • The View’s Favourite’ is a daily web series that explores the Celtic View team’s fondest Hoops memories on a specific theme. Every Friday, we’ll turn it over to our Twitter followers to vote a winner and be included in an end-of-week round-up.

    This week, we’re talking favourite domestic goals. Celtic View Editor, Paul Cuddihy, kicked things off on Monday with Henrik’s chip in a certain 2000 Glasgow derby. yesterday, View reporter Joe Donnelly turned the clock back further still as he relived Jackie McNamara’s sensational volley against Hibs in December 1995.

    Now it's the turn of View reporter, Tony Connelly, to make the case for a wonderful Shunsuke Namakura derby goal...


    GOALSCORER: Shunsuke Nakamura
    GAME: Celtic 2-1 Rangers, April 16, 2008

    It shouldn’t be possible to make a ball move like that in the air but Shunsuke Nakamura could do things with the ball that you wouldn’t imagine possible. To score a goal like that at any time or place is incredible, but to do so in a Glasgow derby game that had such huge implications on the 2007/08 title race was something else.

    The way Naka sliced the ball through the air like a bolt of lightening from 30 yards was unreal! It was like some over-the-top action sequence from a superhero film where you say to yourself, 'Aye, but that would never actually happen like that in real life!1

    This did, though. Naka produced a moment of magic that will live forever, like the static on the telly coming from the big bang. When I close my eyes and replay the goal in my mind, it makes me feel dizzy as I trace the path of the ball into the back of the net. Doing things like that in games makes you wonder what sort of madness he was creating in training.

    He had no right to have a go from that distance but Nakamura was like some Albert Einstein footballer who just understood physics differently to everyone around him.

    The first 20 minutes of a derby can be so decisive in shaping the outcome of the game and there’s no question that Nakamura’s goal created a surge of confidence that spread throughout the team. That was obvious in the response to Rangers drawing level just after half-time.

    Celtic never allowed their opponents to gain any momentum after the goal. Instead they began bombarding the Rangers’ goalmouth with chances, and the desperate attempt to keep Celtic at bay led Carlos Cuellar to block a certain Nakamura goal with his hand.

    We never scored from the penalty but, again, the heads never dropped and Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink emerged with a dramatic late winner in the 93rd minute to cap off a special night at Paradise.

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