Wales 4 Liechtenstein 0: Koumas class lights up Wales

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The Independent Online

Jason Koumas, already back in favour at club level, last night confirmed that his international re-emergence is complete as well.

The midfielder scored two wonderful goals in the opening 14 minutes as Wales cruised to a second successive victory in their post-Slovakia recovery.

Wrexham-born Koumas produced finishing at the Racecourse Ground that would have hurt opponents much stronger than the world's 161st-ranked nation.

Eight minutes in, he cut round Daniel Hasler and curled a magnificent 25-yarder into the top far corner. Then, from similar distance, he was set up by Craig Bellamy and Ryan Giggs for a venomous shot for 2-0.

Bellamy struck the post in between before eventually landing a blow that will have been welcomed over the Mersey. He played a one-two with Mark Jones 13 minutes from time before lashing left-footed into the roof of the net. Chris Llewellyn of Wrexham then stroked in the fourth when teed up by Bellamy.

"Craig was outstanding and we played very, very well in the first half," said the Welsh manager John Toshack. "Jason's goals were terrific and it's unfortunate he misses the next qualifying game in Dublin through suspension."

Wales (4-4-2): Brown; Duff (Ledley, h-t), Evans, Nyatanga, Ricketts; Simon Davies (Jones, 69), Robinson (Crofts, 81), Giggs (Fletcher, h-t), Koumas (Craig Davies, 85); Bellamy, Earnshaw (Llewellyn, 58). Substitute not used: Ward (gk).

Liechtenstein (4-4-2): Jehle; Telser, Hasler, Ritter, Ritzberger (Daniel Frick, 58); Stocklasa, Mario Frick (Ronnny Buechel, 85), Martin Buechel, Burgmeier; D'Elia (Rohrer, 58), Beck (Kieber, 89). Substitutes not used: Steuble, Oehri.

Referee: L Wilmes (Luxembourg).

* A blunder from the Australia goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer gifted Ghana a draw in their friendly at Loftus Road last night. Schwarzer dropped a cross from Gyan Asamoah at the feet of Junior Agogo, who tapped the ball home in the 75th minute. The Socceroos had taken a first-half lead with a John Aloisi penalty.

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