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Callum McGregor draws on Scotland experience in Celtic’s shoot-out success

Hearts v Celtic – Scottish Cup Final – Hampden Park
(Image credit: Andrew Milligan)

Callum McGregor believes his experience in Scotland’s victorious penalty shoot-outs helped in Celtic’s dramatic William Hill Scottish Cup final win over Hearts on Sunday.

The Hoops midfielder scored his penalties in shoot-out wins over Israel in October and Serbia in November which took the Scots into next summer’s European Championship.

He also scored from the spot in the 3-2 Europa League win over Lille earlier in the month and he was among the five Celtic volunteers after a thrilling final at Hampden Park ended 3-3 after extra time.

Again McGregor netted and two saves from Conor Hazard, playing only his third game for the Parkhead club, ultimately allowed Kristoffer Ajer to smash in the winner to secure an unprecedented quadruple treble and take the trophy back to the east end of Glasgow for the 40th time.

Asked if the Scotland penalty shoot-outs had helped him when stepping up to face Jambos keeper Craig Gordon, he told the William Hill Scottish Cup Twitter account: “Yes, I think so.

“When you take them regularly you get a feel for it.

“They are always pressure moments, in penalty shoot-outs there is no room for error. You just have to trust your technique and hope for the best and I’m thankful it went in.

Callum McGregor scores in Scotland's shoot-out against Israel

Callum McGregor built up his penalty shoot-out experience on international duty (Andrew Milligan/PA)

“Obviously it was a really tense day. Performance-wise, the first half was excellent.

“The second half we came off it and gave Hearts the chance to get back into the game.

“Cup finals are always edgy but the main thing was we got the trophy and finished off the quadruple treble.”