Andy King expects Ben Woodburn to have a big future with Wales after his dramatic introduction to international football.
Liverpool teenager Woodburn fired Wales’ World Cup hopes on Saturday night by scoring a sensational 74th-minute goal against Austria in Cardiff.
Woodburn scored just 261 seconds after coming on to win his first cap and boost Wales ahead of Tuesday’s qualifier in Moldova.
The teenager became Liverpool’s youngest goalscorer at the age of 17 years and 45 days when he scored against Leeds in the EFL Cup last season.
Now Woodburn – who turns 18 next month on October 15 – is Wales’ second youngest goalscorer behind Gareth Bale.
“You are not Liverpool’s youngest scorer just on the off chance,” Leicester midfielder King said of Woodburn.
“He obviously shows that every day in training with Liverpool and he shows that every day with us too.
“I am sure he will go on to do big things for us because he is comfortable at this level.
“It was a great strike but it was not only that. It was the way he came into a tight game, he was composed on the ball and managed to find space. He is at a big club and has a good head on his shoulders, I am sure he will be nurtured in the right way.”
Unbeaten Wales still have ground to make up in Group D with three games left to play.
But their 1-0 win against Austria moved them to within two points of the Republic of Ireland in second place.
Group leaders Serbia are four points better off ahead of their game with the Republic in Dublin on Tuesday. But beating bottom-placed Moldova would see Wales put the the pressure on Serbia and the Republic ahead of the final two fixtures in October.
“We had to beat Austria to keep it going,” King said. “We needed to build momentum and we have done that.
“We want to make sure we use that on Tuesday against Moldova. We know it is not going to be perfect football every game, but Austria showed they are a good team.
“Most importantly, we got the three points and are still in with a good chance of doing something.”
Tottenham defender Ben Davies echoed King’s thoughts that Wales now have the platform to qualify for next summer’s finals in Russia.
After Moldova, Wales finish with another away game in Georgia before hosting the Republic in their final qualifier.
“Picking up three points is exactly what we wanted to do against Austria,” Davies said. “We have to go to Moldova and do the same, but the feeling is that we can have momentum again.”
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