Cumbernauld teenager is Champions League penalty shootout hero

Cumbernauld teenager Ross Connelly made three crucial saves to help Hamilton Accies stun Swiss cracks FC Basel in the under-19 version of the Champions League.

Thursday, 25th October 2018, 5:21 pm
Updated Thursday, 25th October 2018, 5:33 pm
Penalty shootout hero Ross Connelly

Ross's heroics helped Accies to a dramatic penalty shootout win over the Swiss side amid incredible scenes at New Douglas Park after the sides finished level on aggregate in their UEFA Elite Youth League tie.

The first leg in Switzerland ended in a 2-2 draw and it was the same scoreline before a crowd of 2,500 at Hamilton, thanks to an Accies equaliser from Sean Slaven in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

That mean it was time for 17-year-old Ross to take the spotlight by saving three of Basel's five penalties. He saved the first two as Accies took a 2-0 lead, but the Scots then missed their next two and Basle scored to tie the shootout at 2-2.

Accies then scored their fifth, meaning Basel had to score to stay in but Connelly - who also saved a spot-kick in a recent league game with Hearts - rose to the occasion once more.

He said afterwards: ""It was unbelievable, surreal, anything you can imagine. I can't even remember half of it to be honest.

"It was unbelievable, especially with all the fans that were there. That's the most people that have ever come to one of our games.

"When you're playing sometimes you don't notice it and then when the game gets a bit quiet you hear a roar and chanting and it was amazing.

"It drove the boys on to do better and it was quite intimidating for them as well.

"I think it was quite even in both games. They dominated both first halves and we built into the game in both second halves and probably had the better of the chances.

"They were top quality, really quick and well drilled set piece wise so it was a really good challenge for us. We had to focus and put in maximum effort and we came through."

Accies now face Danish side FC Midtjylland, who knocked out Irish side Bohemians, and if they get though that they will play off for a place in the last 16 against one of the runners-up from the groups which feature the same teams as the senior Champions League.