Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers hails young Eoghan O'Connell after Champions League draw

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers

20-year-old O'Connell made his European debut for the Bhoys on Wednesday.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has told the club's official website that young centre-back Eoghan O'Connell was "outstanding" in the 1-1 Champions League qualifying draw with Astana on Wednesday.

O'Connell was named in the starting line-up by Rodgers for the match in Kazakhstan as part of a young side which also included teenagers Kieran Tierney and Patrick Roberts and 20-year-old Moussa Dembele.

However, whilst that trio have all had varying amounts of experience as first-team regulars in the past, O'Connell was making just his seventh senior appearances for the Bhoys.

Dundee United's Ryan McGowan in action with Celtic's Eoghan O'Connell

The 20-year-old coped well with the occasion on his European debut and looked generally solid, and recovered well from losing his man at a corner for the hosts' opener after 19 minutes.

Rodgers admitted he was thrilled with O'Connell's display and admitted his pride at seeing the inexperienced youngster rise to the challenge.

The Hoops boss told the club's website: "I thought he was outstanding for a young player being on the fringes of the team for a few years and coming into that environment under that pressure. He made very few mistakes in the game. You expect him to make some as a young player but in a real difficult situation he coped and I was very proud of him.

Eoghan O'Connell scores the first goal for Celtic

"We had two 19-year-olds in Patrick Roberts on the right and young Kieran Tierney, who it’s only natural for at this time of the season to get a bit of cramp in his calf but he kept fighting.

"Young Eoghan is just 20, other boys are still young, and they are showing signs which are very important at a top club and it’s that ability to fight and he was one of a number of young players that did very well."

Leigh Griffiths ultimately equalised for Celtic as they came away from the gruelling away trip with a draw and a valuable away goal ahead of the second leg in Glasgow.

The Hoops are looking to reach the Champions League group stage after crashing out in the play-off round last year.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers at the end of the match

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