Goals from Georgios Giakoumakis and Liel Abada earned Celtic a Scottish Cup last-16 place – but only after a late fright against League 1 Alloa Athletic.
Greek striker Giakoumakis’ tidy finish opened the scoring before Israeli winger Abada curled in a fine second.
Conor Sammon’s late header gave the part-timers hope as the visitors passed up a flurry of second-half chances.
But Barry Ferguson’s third-tier side were unable to force extra-time as Celtic saw the game out comfortably.
The League Cup holders will welcome Raith Rovers in the last 16 on weekend of 12/13 February.
The Premiership side’s wastefulness will be a cause for concern for boss Ange Postecoglou, who was dealt a blow as trio Callum McGregor, Yosuke Ideguchi and Abada all suffered injuries.
Captain McGregor was substituted following a first-half head knock, while Ideguchi and Abada were on the end of strong tackles.
“Abada and Yosuke [Ideguchi] should be okay,” Postecoglou said. “Cal [McGregor] is the one we’re most concerned about. It’s a facial injury; he’s not a great shape. It’s not going to be short-term, it looked quite significant.”
- Celtic to host Raith in last 16
- Reaction & as it happened
Celtic made their early dominance count when Liam Scales’ inch-perfect cross found Giakoumakis, who cushioned a fine finish into the roof of the net.
The opening goalscorer had the chance to double the lead moments later, but failed to scoop an effort on target when through on goal.
Celtic continued to probe as Daizen Maeda had a near-post effort turned behind, but Alloa did well to avoid passing up a host of chances even though Ferguson’s men were chasing shadows.
The League 1 side stuck in there, though, and very nearly got themselves back in the game when Sammon raced through and struck on the volley, only for Celtic keeper Joe Hart to make a big save.
The hosts were made to pay for that miss when Abada came off the right and guided in an excellent left-foot finish high into the far corner.
Abada maintained his level of threat before he had to be forced off, with Alloa keeper David Hutton clawing a dangerous cross from the 20-year-old off the line.
Hutton bettered that stop soon after, tipping a diving header from Maeda round his near post, while at the other end Sammon gave Hart no chance with a header of his own, glancing into the far corner.
That fuelled the part-time hosts with hope, who gave their all until the final minute when Alan Trouten’s eyes lit up on the edge of the area, but the 36-year-old fluffed his lines with the game’s last chance.
Alloa Athletic manager Barry Ferguson: “I’m delighted with the effort my players put in, I’m proud of the boys. The second goal killed us a wee bit.
“But I said at half-time to keep going and they certainly done that. We made a game of it. We nearly got there in the end, we just couldn’t get that wee bit of luck.”
Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou: “Overall, it was OK. We got the job done, that’s the most important thing.
“We could’ve created more and been more clinical. The game got a bit scrappy second half. We made things more difficult than we needed to.”
Player of the match
with an average of 9.41
Squad number8Player nameRobertson
Squad number12Player nameScougall
Squad number10Player nameTrouten
Squad number18Player nameSammon
Squad number19Player nameNiang
Squad number2Player nameTaggart
Squad number6Player nameDurnan
Squad number11Player nameBoyd
Squad number3Player nameChurch
Squad number16Player nameKing
Squad number7Player nameCawley
Squad number31Player nameHutton
Squad number5Player nameGraham
Squad number4Player nameHowie
Squad number7Player nameGiakoumakis
Squad number15Player nameHart
Squad number56Player nameRalston
Squad number17Player nameJota
Squad number38Player nameMaeda
Squad number16Player nameMcCarthy
Squad number4Player nameStarfelt
Squad number57Player nameWelsh
Squad number6Player nameBitton
Squad number11Player nameAbada
Squad number5Player nameScales
Squad number18Player nameRogic
Squad number21Player nameIdeguchi
Squad number42Player nameMcGregor
- 16KingSubstituted forTroutenat 77′minutes
- 4HowieSubstituted forRobertsonat 45′minutes
- 7CawleySubstituted forScougallat 77′minutes
- 19NiangBooked at 60mins
- 21IdeguchiSubstituted forBittonat 63′minutes
- 11AbadaSubstituted forNeves Filipeat 52′minutes
- 42McGregorSubstituted forMcCarthyat 45′minutesBooked at 71mins
- 17Neves Filipe
- Don Robertson
Match ends, Alloa Athletic 1, Celtic 2.
Second Half ends, Alloa Athletic 1, Celtic 2.
Attempt missed. Daizen Maeda (Celtic) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Jota.
Attempt missed. Alan Trouten (Alloa Athletic) left footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Scott Taggart.
Attempt missed. Mouhamed Niang (Alloa Athletic) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Steven Boyd.
Foul by Daizen Maeda (Celtic).
Mouhamed Niang (Alloa Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Anthony Ralston (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Alan Trouten (Alloa Athletic).
Offside, Alloa Athletic. Andy Graham tries a through ball, but Conor Sammon is caught offside.
Attempt missed. Jota (Celtic) left footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.
Attempt blocked. Giorgos Giakoumakis (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Daizen Maeda.
Attempt blocked. Giorgos Giakoumakis (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Tomas Rogic.
Attempt blocked. Mouhamed Niang (Alloa Athletic) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Foul by Carl Starfelt (Celtic).
Conor Sammon (Alloa Athletic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Goal! Alloa Athletic 1, Celtic 2. Conor Sammon (Alloa Athletic) header from very close range to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Jon Robertson.
Substitution, Alloa Athletic. Alan Trouten replaces Adam King.
Substitution, Alloa Athletic. Stefan Scougall replaces Kevin Cawley.
Foul by Liam Scales (Celtic).