Saturday, May 9, 2009

9 May 1998 - Celtic Ends Their Title Drought

On 9 May 1998, Celtic defeated St. Johnstone 2-0 on the last day of the Scottish Premier Division Season to secure their first league title in ten years.

The title race went down to the wire, with Celtic starting the day only two points ahead of Old Firm rivals Rangers, who were playing at Dundee United. Celtic striker Henrik Larsson (pictured) put his team ahead in the third minute, but the Hoops were unable to extend the lead for the remainder of the first half.

Early in the second half, word broke that Rangers had gone up 0-2 against Dundee United, sending a nervous ripple through the 50,000-strong crowd Celtic Park. A Rangers win, combined with a draw for Celtic, would hand 'Gers their tenth consecutive league title. All it would take was a single St. Johnstone goal.

That goal almost came midway through the second half, when Saints striker George O'Boyle narrowly missed putting his head on a cross in front of an open goal. Shortly afterward, Celtic substitute Harald Brattbakk sealed the win for the hosts with a 72nd-minute strike to put Celtic up 2-0. The day finished as it had started, with Celtic two points clear of Rangers, giving Celtic their first title since 1988.

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