Former Celtic of Scotland midfielder, Armstrong Okoflex helped his new team, West Ham United of England sink his former side 6-2 in a pre-season friendly, despite only playing as a second half substitute., megasportsarena.com reports
Okoflex made the best of his cameo role to ensure that Celtic’s preparations for their midweek UEFA Champions League qualifier against FC Midtjylland of Denmark took a knock with their shock defeat by The Hammers.
West Ham looked sharp, particularly on the counter, and will carry on preparing for their Premier League opener away to Newcastle next month.
The Hoops’ skipper, Callum McGregor curled in an early opener at Parkhead before West Ham’s iconic striker, Michail Antonio scored a quick-fire double and captain Mark Noble netted from the penalty spot.
Ryan Christie pulled a goal back for the former Scottish Pemiership champions five minutes after the break but Said Benrahma replied for West Ham.
Issa Diop replaced Nigerian-born Italy international, Angelo Obinze Ogbonna, who limped off injured just before McGregor easily brushed Manuel Lanzini off the ball and guided a shot from the edge of the box past goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.
West Ham levelled when Dane Murray’s pass out from the back was intercepted by Noble, who quickly moved the ball on to Antonio and he skilfully side-stepped defender Stephen Welsh and Barkas and rolled the ball into an empty net.
Pablo Fornals then sent the striker clear for a breakaway second when he split the Celtic defence with a pass and Antonio steered his shot from 12 yards past Barkas at the near post.
Noble scored a third from the spot in the 38th minute after referee John Beaton felt Antonio had been barged in the box by Celtic midfielder Ismaila Soro.
Celtic then made 10 substitutions in the encounter, as The Bhoys tried to save face in front of their home crowd, only for two more goals to be added by Jarrod Bowen and Okoflex, who left the Glasgow-based Scottish Premiership side this summer.
All of Celtics’ outfield players went off and one of them, Leigh Griffiths, recently cleared by police over allegations of sending inappropriate messages to two schoolgirls, was initially booed by a section of the home support.
Some fans then cheered Griffiths but attention soon turned back to the game and Bowen was able to flick a cross past Bain before Okoflex wrapped up the scoring with a low drive into the corner of the net.
Celtic’s coach, Ange Postecoglou was disappointed with his side’s display and he now has to get his players ready for the second leg of their second qualifier on Wednesday night.
However, that task looks daunting, after a 1-1 draw against the Danish side during the week, and Saturday’s loss to West Ham showed that the priority for Celtic is a strict tightening of their defence.