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HAMPDEN HERO AGREES NEW DEAL

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SCOTTISH Cup Final hero Conor Hazard has agreed a new two-year deal with Celtic.

The 22-year-old Northern Ireland international keeper, who saved two penalty-kicks in the dramatic shoot-out against Hearts at Hampden five days before Christmas, has signed until June 2023, according to the club website.

Hazard made his first-team debut on December 10 in the 3-2 win over Lille in the Europa League, the Hoops’ only success in Group H. He took his Premiership bow three days later in the 2-0 victory over Kilmarnock and did enough to persuade Neil Lennon to field him against the Tynecastle side in the epic quadruple treble-winning occasion at Hampden.

With the tense encounter ending 3-3 following extra-time, the pressure was on the Parkhead side when Ryan Christie had his spot-kick saved by former team-mate Craig Gordon. However, his blushes were spared when Hazard plunged to save from Stephen Kingsley and Craig Wighton before Kristoffer Ajer belted in the historic goal.

Hazard has been on the substitutes’ bench with Scott Bain facing Ross County and Aberdeen while there has been the curious non-appearance of £4.5million Greek shotstopper Vasilis Barkas, as CQN reported earlier this week.

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