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Club News

Williams Wins First Wales Start

27 March 2013

It's been a good week on the international front for Jonny Williams who made his senior Wales debut against Scotland on Friday night before scooping the man of the match award in the Red Dragons' 2-1 defeat to Croatia last night.

The teenager replaced Gareth Bale at Hampden Park during half-time with his side trailing to a goal from Blackburn Rover defender Grant Hanley, but he helped guide his team to a 2-1 victory thanks to an Aaron Ramsey penalty and Hal Robson-Kanu's winner.

After receiving plenty of praise for his performance against the Scots, the Palace academy graduate then made his first start last night against Croatia where he kept Real Madrid's Luka Modric quiet as Wales took a 1-0 lead into half-time, but they couldn't quite hold on for a precious three points as their slim hopes of World Cup qualification fizzled away.

Williams completed 83 minutes before coming off in a game that also saw Eagles team-mate Jazz Richards emerge from the bench for the final 26 minutes of the game, whilst Lewis Price and the on-loan Jermaine Easter were unused subs.

Jonathan Parr's hopes of reaching the World Cup also took a huge blow as Norway suffered a shock 1-0 home defeat to Albania in Oslo on Friday night, with the Eagles full back remaining on the bench for the whole game.

It was a big weekend as well for Yannick Bolasie who won his first international cap for the Democratic Republic of Congo as they were held to a 0-0 draw with Libya in Kinshasa on Sunday. The winger played 83 minutes as neither side found the back of the net despite Congo missing a penalty, but the result leaves them still in contention for a spot in the play-offs at the halfway point of their World Cup qualification group games.

Elsewhere on the same continent, Kagisho Dikgacoi came on as a 44th minute substitute in South Africa's 2-0 win against the Central African Republic in Cape Town on Saturday, leaving them two points behind group leaders Ethiopia with only the top side in each pool making it through to the next stage.

In Oceania, Mile Jedinak's Australia were held to a 2-2 draw with Oman yesterday in their latest qualifier, a result which sees them trailing behind Japan and Jordan in the race for the two automatic  spots. The Socceroos were losing 1-0 at the break but four minutes into the second half Jedinak scored an own goal, but goals from Tim Cahill and Brett Holman rescued a point for the Aussies.

At under 21 level, Wilfried Zaha scored his first international goal in England's comfortable 3-0 win against Romania to stretch their winning run to eight games without conceding a goal. The Palace winger scored a fine solo goal to open the scoring at Wycombe's Adams Park before Wolves loanee Jack Robinson and Nathan Delfouneso also got on the scoresheet, however Zaha missed Stuart Pearce's side's 4-0 win against Austria at Brighton on Monday night to have root canal surgery.

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