Wales Go Second After Dramatic Late Victory In Moldova

Ben Woodburn Wales

GETTY Ben Woodburn celebrating his goal against Austria has proved himself with Wales

Gareth Bale has confirmed that he played a role in convincing Ben Woodburn to pledge his allegiances to Wales and reject the advances from England.

"It's weird, we didn't really perform against Georgia and came away with a point, we did well tonight and came away with nothing".

The 17-year-old came off the bench to help his country to a 2-0 victory in a World Cup qualifier and has enjoyed a superb global break.

Already Liverpool's youngest scorer, Woodburn - who turns 18 next month - has joined a national set-up littered with players who were given their chance early by Wales.

The next round of worldwide fixtures takes place after Spurs visit new boys Huddersfield Town on September 30.

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The former Tottenham man, 28, said: "I was injured for the Holland game and he sat in the box next to me". Still, very exciting for us and everything to play for... we have to be better in our all-round play though.

Already the scorer of four goals throughout qualification, Bale always seemed likeliest to end the wait for an opener and the winger's long-range shot nearly drew a costly spill from Cebanu after the restart. "We're delighted to have him - he's Welsh anyway so he's ours".

Showing composure and awareness that belies both his age and experience, Woodburn looked up and struck the ball cleanly with his right boot, the ball flying past Austrian keeper Lindner into the back of the net, and sending Wales into absolute raptures.

And he wanted to make sure he could one day fill his boots for the Dragons and not slip away back across the border.

"I know he's scored a great goal and done great on his debut, but we want him to feel comfortable".

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Wales boss Chris Coleman is determined to keep the pressure on group leaders Serbia in the race for World Cup qualification after their late show in Moldova.

"If we win all four we'll have a great chance of top spot and if not we'll get into the play-offs. When that individual scores we are so happy for them but also happy for us as a nation".

Ireland's limitations have caught up with them in the second half of their qualifying campaign and they have now failed to beat Wales, Austria and Serbia at home, but their manager is convinced there is another twist to come.

"It's one step at a time but he will learn off those players and they will help him", said Rush.

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All the while, his administration has continued to issue new permits and extensions to immigrants who qualify. Still, he added, "we must also recognize that we are nation of opportunity because we are a nation of laws".

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