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Liverpool wonderkid caught up in embarrassment on senior international debut

Lewis Koumas made his senior Wales debut against Gibraltar
-Credit: (Image: Fran Santiago/Getty Images)


Liverpool youngster Lewis Koumas made his senior international debut for Wales - but he was caught up in an embarrassing night as they were held to a 0-0 draw by Gibraltar.

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Koumas, the son of former Premier League player Jason, was handed his first call-up to the senior Wales squad last month. And he was introduced as a replacement for Liam Cullen after 73 minutes.

He had a bright moment early on, with a nice turn and shot after displaying some quick-feet forcing Gibraltar goalkeeper Jaylan Hankins to push the ball away. But it ultimately proved an unhappy debut with Wales unable to find a winner against the team ranked 203rd in the FIFA World Rankings.

It was an embarrassing result for Robert Page after missing out on qualification for this summer's European Championships. While several regulars were missing, Page was able to call upon over £100m worth of talent in the form of Brennan Johnson, Dan James and Kieffer Moore but still couldn't break down their lowly opponents.

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Wales captain on the night Josh Sheehan told S4C: "We knew what we were coming into, we knew what kind of team they were going to be. They were obviously going to sit off and make it difficult for us and time-waste, like they did.

"We didn't do enough to get a goal, but obviously there's a lot of debuts, it's a big thing for them as well.

"We go into every game wanting to win it, today we didn't do enough, but we know we're good enough as a team.

"It didn't help today with how dry the pitch was with what we've been working on, but that's something we have to deal with moving forward."

Despite not getting the desired result on his debut, it was a landmark moment for Liverpool youngster Koumas, who made his first-team debut for the Reds last season. He scored his first goal for the club in the FA Cup against Southampton and left Jurgen Klopp extremely impressed..

"A wonderful goal," Klopp said after the match. "A boy playing on the left wing against a senior player in a team with not a lot of patterns, let me say it like that, is tricky.

“Staying in the game for these moments just shows he is a real striker because the goal is exceptional, the step in and then he shoots before the goalie can settle. A really good finish.”

Wales manager Page said after calling up Koumas: “How can I ignore it when he has done what he has done for Liverpool in the first team," Page said.

“It would be foolish for me to ignore it. I have to use this little window we have to see him work and to see him train.

“I think it’s a no-brainer for me to expose some of the young ones now to the environment, to how we train, to how we work and get us ready for the Nations League in September and beyond that, then the World Cup qualifiers.”