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Page last updated at 23:32 GMT, Wednesday, 28 May 2008 00:32 UK

Evans revelling in 'flukey' goal

Ched Evans watches his flick creep inside the far post
Evans has now scored on his U19, U21 and senior debuts

Wales debutant Ched Evans admits his exquisite winning goal in Iceland on Wednesday was "a bit flukey".

The teenage Manchester City striker's superb back-heel flick was the difference in Reykjavik and made it three successive victories for Wales.

But he said afterwards: "It was a bit flukey - I don't usually try stuff like that so I'm just glad it came off!"

Wales boss John Toshack hailed Evans as a natural scoring talent and admited: "He stole the show, he can be pleased."

The 19-year-old's crucial debut goal in Iceland shows why Premier League giants City have given him a three-year contract.

The striking sensation climbed off the bench to produce a moment of sheer brilliance with his first touch in senior international football.

But Evans joked: "This international football isn't as easy as it looks mind!"

His cute back-heel flick from Joe Ledley's teasing cross earned Toshack's men their third successive friendly win as Wales prepare for the 2010 World Cup qualifiers.

Toshack added: "Ched has a natural scoring talent and he took his chance really well.

"Ched has just signed a new contract at Manchester City and it is pleasing that they are showing confidence in him.

"He has plenty to learn yet but I am just happy that he is being given his chance at City.

"Maybe he will go out on loan again next season as he did very well (on loan) at Norwich last term - but City are clearly going to give him his chance to prove what he can do."

Evans now boasts the distinction of scoring on his Wales Under-19, Under-21 and senior debuts.

John Toshack
We had eight Under-21 players on the pitch in the end - that bodes well for our future

Wales boss John Toshack
"Joe's run was excellent," recalled Evans. "And I had to get in front of my man and I'm glad I did, really."

His promising Under-21 team-mates Sam Vokes and Jack Collison also won their first senior caps in Iceland as Toshack, without eight key players, fielded his youngest team in his three-year reign as Wales coach.

Wolves forward Vokes and West Ham midfielder Collison also impressed as Toshack now averages one new cap in each of his 32 games in charge of Wales.

"Jack and Sam made their debuts too and we had eight Under-21 players on the pitch in the end - that bodes well for our future," insisted Toshack.

"We have shown today that with some top players out we have the strength in depth to cope and go to difficult places and win."

Evans said: "I loved it because with so many of my mates out there it was like playing for the Under-21s and I felt there's not as much pressure as I'm so familiar with my team-mates."

Craig Bellamy's emergence on the hour, following an injury-ravaged season, would also have given Toshack heart, who now plans for Sunday's tough friendly in Rotterdam against Euro 2008 hopefuls the Netherlands.

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Toshack admitted: "Craig has been out for a long time with injuries, but he looked sharp and quick when he did get on and I am just happy to have him back after so long out.

"We will need our more experienced players in Holland, that will be a real test for us, but some of the youngsters will have benefited from this game in Iceland.

"We had so many youngsters out there and they were put under a lot of pressure at times.

"Our goalkeeper, Wayne Hennessey, saved us a few times but it is another away win for us and we have to be delighted with the way things are going."

Toshack's only blow is the injury that forced Carl Fletcher off in the first half and the coach feels for the stand-in skipper who damaged ankle ligaments.

"He was very unfortunate," said Toshack. "We will have to fly him home tomorrow and he will obviously miss the game on Sunday.

"He will be out of action for maybe two months, which is very unlucky for him because he deserved his chance as captain."




see also
Iceland 0-1 Wales
28 May 08 |  Internationals


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