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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 September, 2004, 20:39 GMT 21:39 UK
Celtic 8-1 Falkirk
Paul Lambert scored Celtic's fourth goal of the evening
Ross Wallace hit a hat-trick as Celtic hammered Falkirk to reach the quarter-finals of the CIS Insurance Cup.

Momo Sylla and Wallace both found the net inside the first six minutes, Bobo Balde headed in a corner and Paul Lambert shot home right on half-time.

A Stephen McManus header caught the Bairns out at another corner before Wallace thumped in a 25-yard free kick.

Andy Thomson scored for Falkirk but Wallace and Aiden McGeady pitched in with strikes in the last few minutes.

With Celtic facing a vital Champions League Group F showdown against AC Milan next week, manager Martin O'Neill made eight changes to his starting line-up.

90 seconds in Juninho dispossessed Mark Campbell near the half-way line and ran at the Falkirk defence before playing a perfectly-weighted ball to the overlapping Sylla, who coolly side-footed the ball past an exposed Darren Hill.

Celtic doubled their lead after just five minutes and Juninho was again the provider as he pounced on another mistake, this time from Scott MacKenzie, and he played the ball out wide for Sylla.

The Brazilian playmaker expected the ball to be pulled back into his path but his team-mate hesitated. Fortunately for him Wallace arrived behind to find the bottom corner.

Falkirk almost hit back in the 33rd minute when Rab Douglas pushed out a shot from Darryl Duffy before Joos Valgaeren blocked a follow-up effort from the same player.

Douglas was again called upon in the 35th minute to scramble away a low drive from David Nicholls.

But Celtic added another goal two minutes later as Balde leapt above the Bairns defence to head McGeady's cross home.

Hill had to turn a Sylla shot round the post, before Balde swivelled and fired just past the upright.

Lambert did beat Hill in the final minute of the half, when he arrived at the far post to steer Sylla's cross into the empty net.

Defender Stephen McManus also got his name on the scoresheet when he headed McGeady's corner home from close range in the 48th minute.

McGeady, the highly-rated Republic of Ireland youngster, was relishing the time and space and he whistled a powerful effort past the angle soon afterwards.

Wallace did find the net in spectacular fashion after 56 minutes when he curled a left-footed free-kick into the top corner from distance.

Falkirk did give their vocal supporters a goal to celebrate in the 67th minute when Thomson burst through from Duffy's pass and forced the ball through Douglas' legs.

Wallace then fired past Hill from close range after 84 minutes.

McGeady was not to be outdone and he stepped inside a challenge before cracking a left-footed shot over Hill and into the net in the dying seconds.


Celtic: Douglas, Valgaeren, Balde, Laursen, McManus (Thompson 79), McGeady, Lambert, Pearson, Wallace, Sylla, Juninho Paulista. Subs Not Used: Hedman, Lennon, Petrov, Varga.

Goals: Sylla 2, Wallace 6, Balde 38, Lambert 45, McManus 48, Wallace 57, 85, McGeady 90.

Falkirk: Hill, Lawrie, James, Campbell (Hughes 70), McPherson, O'Neil, Nicholls (McAnespie 72), Latapy (Moutinho 74), MacKenzie, Duffy, Thomson. Subs Not Used: Scally, Ferguson.

Goals: Thomson 66.

Attendance: 24,345

Referee: W Young





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