THEY say good things come to those who wait; and when it comes to Celtic in Dingwall there’s no truer statement.

It took them 97 minutes to triumph over Ross County last time in the Highlands – and while it wasn’t quite as long a wait this time round, it wasn’t over until three minutes from time.

Kyogo Furhashi grabbed his first goal since December 19 on his first start back since his long-term hamstring injury lay-off to settle the nerves after 12 minutes. And Jota sealed victory – after a long and at times difficult wait - with his first strike in the league since a double against Aberdeen in February, three minutes from time.

Ange Postecoglou made three changes to his side from the extra-time loss to Rangers at Hampden last week. In came Matt O’Riley, Anthony Ralston and Kyogo with injured Josip Juranovic missing from the squad and Tom Rogic and Liel Abada forced to settle for a spot on the bench.

In the home dugout, Malky Mackay also altered his side. Captain Keith Watson was reinstated to his centre-back role alongside Alex Iacovitti and Jack Baldwin out of the squad.

It was one of the changes who almost had an instant impact in Dingwall too. Kyogo was in fine form in the Highlands as he came close to breaking the deadlock – and his 126-day injured hampered scoring drought – within the first two minutes.

O’Riley’s whipped corner was scrambled away from the goal-line but fell to the Japanese striker inside the area; fortunately for County, Jordan White was on hand to hook over the bar.

There would be no questions over Ross County’s commitment to make a game of things on their own patch; Ross Callachan’s crunching challenge on Callum McGregor five minutes in was evidence of that. But it would be an uphill battle after Mackay’s men surrended an early lead.

Jota jinked in and out on the right flank before floating an inviting cross into the middle where Kyogo was afforded far too much space as he rose to direct the ball into the bottom corner past the despairing Ross Laidlaw. It was a terrific finish and earned rapturous celebrations from the Celtic support.

On the half-hour, Kyogo could’ve had a second. Jota again found space to hang a ball up at the far post where Kyogo was there to acrobatically take aim but his shot spiralled into the air before hitting the bar and bounces clear.

Ross County were quiet but grew into the first-half as the ball was switched left to right before Blair Spitall burst into the box to fire across goal, but Hart was commanding as he collected comfortably seven minutes from the break. One minute later and County again could’ve fallen further behind. O’Riley’s long-range effort was spilled uncharacteristically by the impressive Laidlaw, Kyogo raced onto the loose ball but his rebound strike was excellently turned wide by Laidlaw.

Two minutes from half-time and Celtic were knocking at the door for a second again. Jota sent a perfect cross into the box for Daizen Maeda to volley at goal – but Laidlaw again turned it clear.

Six minutes into the second period and it was Jota again causing problems. This time he floated the ball into the six-yard box – having seen his first driven cross blocked – where O’Riley headed goalwards only for Watson to head off the line.

Then came Ross County’s big moment. Regan Charles-Cook got the better of Jota and surged into the box where he cut back for Harry Paton, the midfielder steadied himself before sending a low drive towards goal, only for Cameron Carter-Vickers to block the effort with a tremendous sliding block.

It was a breathless opening to the second-half, and the action continued with Jota driving straight up the other end and unleashing a powerful drive which required a strong block from Watson with 55 minutes on the clock.

Another couple of minutes passed and it was County who had the chance to restore parity. Charles-Cook delivered for Watson to send back into the six-yard box where Hart punched to the edge. Harry Paton was waiting but sent his improvised volley well over.

Postecoglou must’ve been scratching his head at how his side were under so much pressure having created so much in the opening 45 minutes. And he was left wondering what his side would have to do to score a second not long after as Carl Starfelt was next to go close as his header ricocheted in the box before being turned wide by Jake Vokins.

The away end then began to fall quiet as nerves appeared to creep in during the closing stages with County on top – albeit unable to find a leveller.

The hosts were desperate for an equaliser after an industrious performance in their well-drilled system but there was nothing doing when sub Joseph Hungbo went down in the box under little contact from Greg Taylor. The appeals were frantic in the home stands, but Kevin Clancy corrected waved paly on.

Liel Abada could have killed the match just eight minutes after coming on with 72 minutes played as a sliced Tom Rogic shot fell at his feet in the box, but he dragged his effort wide.

Three minutes from time and Celtic finally sealed a huge victory in the Scottish Premiership title race. Abada crossed for sub Giorgos Giakoumakis who watched his effort strike the bar, but Jota was on hand to throw himself at the rebound and force over the line to keep Celtic six-points clear at the top.