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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Wales and Liverpool striker Ben Woodburn can be a 'great' - Coleman

Woodburn strikes the winner for Wales on Saturday.

Chris Coleman hailed Liverpool teenager Ben Woodburn after the striker made a dream international debut to net the winner in Wales' World Cup qualifying victory against Austria in Cardiff.

Woodburn, 17, struck just five minutes after coming on as a 69th-minute substitute and Wales' 1-0 victory moved them to within two points of the Republic of Ireland -- who drew 1-1 at Georgia earlier in the day -- in second place in Group D.

Coleman did not want to compare the youngster to Welsh greats Gareth Bale and Ryan Giggs, but told the BBC: "He has all the attributes to go on to be a great player.

"He's made a good start. With young players I would not like to say. Good examples are George Williams and Jon Williams, they're still young and have to play a lot of football.

"I know how tough the industry is. Ben knows how much work he has to get through."

Woodburn, who made nine appearances for Liverpool in all competitions last season, became Wales' second youngest scorer at 17 years and 322 days, behind Bale who netted on Oct. 7, 2006 against Slovakia aged 17 years and 35 days.

"It is one of those nights to remember," Coleman said. "It was a great way to win the game. Ben is young but we have seen enough. This is not a player we have just discovered, we have had him for some years in our system.

"I had no worries about him at all. It wasn't just his goal, it was his all-round play, his intelligence. He has good composure, he is not fazed.

"The acid test is when you take that step up, first in training, then how you handle your debut. He has come through that in flying colours.

"He still has a lot to do. But we have seen in our experience he is capable at our level to make a difference.''

Group leaders Serbia remain four points ahead of Wales with three games to play. Wales next head to Moldova on Tuesday, while the Republic entertain Serbia in Dublin on the same night.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

Follow @ESPNFC on Twitter to keep up with the latest football updates.

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