FORMER Ringmahon Rangers star Caoimhín Kelleher started and starred in his first Champions League game for Liverpool against Ajax on Wednesday night.
The goalkeeper had only made a handful of appearances in the League Cup previously, but started ahead of Adrian with Alisson Becker ruled out as a precaution, due to a tight leg muscle.
Kelleher, a regular star for the Liverpool U23s won a Champions League medal 18 months ago as an unused sub, but tonight, with Liverpool needing to avoid defeat to qualify for knockout stages from Group D, he was given a massive vote of confidence by manager Jurgen Klopp.
Adrian, who has deputised for Alisson in the past was on the bench.
Kelleher looked very calm and assured in the opening 45 minutes, making two very good saves and he looked very comfortable with both feet when clearing the ball and beginning various Liverpool attacks.
He made two more sensational saves in the second half to ensure Cutis Jones' goal in the 58th minute was enough to seal the win and qualification for the last 16 with a game to spare.
His manager who described him as a footballing goalkeeper and a great shot-stopper before the game was the first to congratulate the Corkman on the final whistle.
With Alisson doubtful for the weekend's game against Wolves on Sunday evening, Kelleher could find himself in the starting XI again. His performance tonight earns him that chance.