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EURO ROOKIE O’CONNELL EARNS PRAISE

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YOUNG Irishman Eoghan O’Connell was pitched in against Astana for his European top-flight debut in the 1-1 draw in Kazakhstan.

Brendan Rodgers took a chance on the 20-year-old centre-half against dangerous opponents after Danish international Erik Sviatchenko pulled out with a groin strain.

Goalscorer Leigh Griffiths, who slammed in the crucial leveller in the 1-1 draw, praised the cool customer from Cork.

He said: “Eoghan did really well. He had a couple of slack passes in the first-half, but he grew in confidence as the game went on. He coped really well against Leicester City at the weekend and showed that he can cope with these games at this level.

“He strolled it against the English champions and the manager had no qualms about throwing him in. You could see why. He was excellent.”

Griffiths, meanwhile, has revealed that he was unhappy the Hoops weren’t awarded a penalty after falling 1-0 behind in the first-half after Moussa Dembele was brought down in the Astana penalty area.

He added: “It looked a stonewall penalty from where I was standing. Moussa got past his man and he wouldn’t have missed from there.

“He was in on goal and got pulled down. For me, it’s a stonewall penalty. I turned round and saw the gaffer and he was asking the fourth official.

“The ref said he got the ball and it was one of those decisions that go against you. Hopefully, they even themselves out over the course of the season.”




 
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