Freddy at the~double for Wales

Freddy Eastwood put aside his frustration at club level to display his goalscoring prowess in Wales' 2-0 friendly victory in Luxembourg.

Last Updated: 26/03/08 at 21:39 Post Comment

Eastwood: Celebrates goal for Wales

Eastwood: Celebrates goal for Wales

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Eastwood has not started a Wolves game since Boxing Day, but relished the chance to play for Wales and bagged a goal in each half to complete a comfortable win at the Stade Josy Barthel on Wednesday night.

Wales have now gone five matches undefeated and lost just three times in their last 16, but this did not require one of their better performances.

Luxembourg seemed intent on just stopping Wales' creative players any way they could - Jason Koumas getting no protection from Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers when he was kicked virtually every time he had the ball.

Eventually Koumas was taken off before his temper snapped completely, but it was a good example why Premier League managers dread such fixtures.

Boss John Toshack took his new caps tally to 29 in 32 matches with Boaz Myhill, Owain Tudur-Jones and Ashley Williams making their debuts.

But Eastwood stole the show with two clinical finishes as Wales strolled to victory.

Fulham's Simon Davies put aside for one night his club's Premier League plight to captain the side and win his 50th cap, only the 26th man in Welsh football history to reach that total.

Toshack got the chance to see how his fringe players from the lower divisions would fare at international level, with Wales missing 14 players out injured.

The FIFA rankings have these two countries 101 places apart, but Luxembourg came into the match with a rare streak of confidence after their first competitive victory in 12 years, a 1-0 win over Belarus.

They were quick to pull 10 men back and allow Wales to have the ball in their own half. But they were competitive in the tackle in midfield and several surging runs from Koumas ended with lost possession.

A lack of communication between Williams and goalkeeper Lewis Price almost allowed Alphonse Leweck, scorer of that winner against Belarus, to profit from an under-hit back pass, and it was not until the 15th minute that Wales managed their first shot when Carl Fletcher drove over from 20 yards.

Eastwood was booked for a tackle from behind on Mario Mutsch after 17 minutes before Lewin Nyatanga had an effort disallowed for offside from a Koumas free-kick.

Three times in quick succession Jermaine Easter was deliberately pulled down in the box at set-pieces with the ball yards away, but Dutch referee Kuipers decided the offences did not constitute penalties.

Luxembourg were reminiscent of the San Marino side Wales played back in October, a spoiling, niggling team just intent of stopping the flow.

Easter and Eastwood struggled for an understanding up front, and bore the brunt of the Luxembourg tactics, but eventually Wales got themselves into the lead after 37 minutes.

Eastwood took a cross-field pass from Koumas and forced his way into the box, side-stepping opponents before firing his low effort into the far corner past Jonathan Joubert, his third goal in seven internationals.

At the break Wales sent on Hull keeper Myhill for his debut, while Swansea's injury-jinxed midfielder Tudur-Jones also came on for his long awaited first cap in place of Easter.

It has taken Tudur-Jones two years to get this far since his first call-up. He has suffered 16 months of knee and ankle injuries since and the 23-year-old must have been a relieved young man as he trotted on.

And two minutes into the second period Wales were two up. Davies got away on the right to fire in a low cross for Eastwood to slam confidently past Joubert.

And after 64 minutes Portsmouth defender Richard Duffy came on for his 13th cap, 13 months after the last one. Since then the 22-year-old had lost form and confidence with his career on hold, but he was back in from the cold at last.

Craig Morgan was booked after 71 minutes for a foul on Mutsch, while Wales sent on David Cotterill for Carl Fletcher three minutes later.

And the 20-year-old, now on loan with Sheffield United, hit the outside of a post two minutes later.

Danny Nardiello took over from the aggrieved Koumas with 11 minutes left.

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