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O’CONNELL HAILS ‘LUCKY’ STRIKE

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CELTIC youngster Eoghan O’Connell described his wonder strike against Leicester City as “lucky'” in the 1-1 draw at Parkhead.

The Hoops were trailing early in the second-half of the International Champions Cup clash, when the central defender curled a perfect low effort from the edge of the box beyond the despairing dive of Kasper Schmeichel.

It was an exquisite finish from the 20-year-old Irishman to mark his debut strike for the team. It ended all-square and O’Connell netted in the penalty-kick shoot-out, but James Forrest missed from 12 yards and the English champions triumphed 6-5.

O’Connell, speaking on the official Celtic website, said: “The ball came came out and I called Stuart Armstrong to leave it.

“I just felt I could run round and bend my foot around it. Luckily enough, it went in, so I’m delighted.

“Emilio Izaguirre was out wide, so I was going to roll it to him, but I just thought: “Why not hit it?”. I went with my right foot and it went in.

“It’s my first goal for the first team. It was a good finish and I was delighted.

“We’re at the stage now where all games matter and we’ve got the Champions League tie against Astana coming on Wednesday.

“It was a very high-tempo against Leicester and I was delighted to get a goal in a big game like that.”

O’Connell added: “In the first-half, we had quite a lot of the ball, but maybe didn’t open them up enough.

“They were very dangerous on the counter-attack – they showed that last season – and their goal in the second-half shocked us, but after that we performed quite well and could have maybe gone on and won it.

“You want to win every game. Pre-season matches are all about fitness, but no-one wants to lose and we showed that.

“They showed they are very powerful and have very good players who are experienced, as well. However, I thought we handled it well and played well.”

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