Ben Woodburn‘s debut for Wales was probably everything he could have ever hoped for, and much more.
The Liverpool youngster helped Wales to a 1-0 win over Austria on Saturday, as the 17-year-old scored a tremendous strike from distance with 16 minutes remaining in regulation. The victory puts Wales two points behind Ireland for second place in Group D, with three matches remaining in the Road to Russia.
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Meanwhile, the day’s most high-profile matchup came when Spain met Italy, however, it was the Spanish that came away victorious. Isco’s first-half brace and a late finish from Chelsea’s Alvaro Morata helped La Furia Roja to a comfortable 3-0 win over Italy, and all but ensured Spain’s place in the top two in Group G.
Group I remains completely up for grabs after the day’s action, as four teams sit within three points of one another at the top of the group. Ukraine, Croatia, Iceland and Turkey are all still in the running for a place in Russia next summer, while Finland and Kosovo’s hopes are all but dashed.
Here’s a look at all the results from around European qualifying on Saturday.
Georgia 1-1 Republic of Ireland
Serbia 3-0 Moldova
Wales 1-0 Austria
Albania 2-0 Liechtenstein
Israel 0-1 Macedonia
Spain 3-0 Italy
Finland 1-0 Iceland
Ukraine 2-0 Turkey
Croatia vs. Kosovo (Abandoned)
Jurgen Klopp says Ben Woodburn‘s status as the youngest goal scorer in Liverpool history has been earned in meteoric fashion.
At 17 years old, 45 days, Woodburn netted in Tuesday’s EFL Cup win over Leeds United to break Michael Owen‘s record by 100 days.
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Klopp was a bit taken aback by the accomplishment, as he figured someone even younger had done the job earlier.
“We are nearly 125 years old and I’m quite surprised that there was never a younger one. We all know how young he is, but he doesn’t look like this in training sessions and things like this, obviously he grows quicker than other players in his skill sets. It’s a nice story and all the boys are happy for him.”
Klopp said the locker room was all smiles for Woodburn, who was part of a very young team on Tuesday. The Reds picked up a 2-0 win despite few familiar faces in the XI.
Will Woodburn, a Welsh U-19 player, continue his rise? Or will this be an odd footnote? There are a lot of career paths in between an Owen and an “no one”, so let’s let the kid bask in a memorable night, scoring in front of the Kop.
Less than two months removed from his 17th birthday, Ben Woodburn has scored a First Team goal for Liverpool.
The match was scoreless when Woodburn made his second appearance for the Reds, who went ahead through Divock Origi shortly thereafter.
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The Welsh U-19 winger then bested Michael Owen‘s record as the youngest goal scorer in history, blasting a close-range shot home.
Woodburn received a square ball from Georginio Wijnaldum after a cute poke pass from Origi.