Neither side seemed to settle in the opening quarter of an hour, Ryan Kent blazing a shot over from the edge of the area, the closest either side came to breaking the deadlock.
Celtic began to turn the key on the 20-minute mark, after a ball over the top to Kyogo forced Allan McGregor to come off his line and thwart the forward. The veteran keeper then showed his still ample agility to turn away Jota’s effort from distance.
In a game that was defined by who could win their tackles in the middle of the park, Cameron Carter-Vickers came up with a vital touch to deny a certain Rangers opener. The USA international sliding in to take the ball off the toe of Fashion Sakala Jr, when it looked like the Zambian was set to tap home from close range.
Quality chances were rationed in the first half with the lively Kyogo and Kent doing well to make themselves space, only for both to fire curling efforts into the stands. Celtic’s top scorer then spurned the best opportunity of the afternoon with four minutes left, heading over from 6 yards out.
The Japanese forward finally made a chance count minutes before the break as he gave Celtic the lead. Greg Taylor delivered in a tempting low ball, which although missed by Daizen Maeda at the front post, was gratefully tapped home by Kyogo to send the east end of Hampden delirious at the break.