Price delight at playing for Wales

IPSWICH Town keeper Lewis Price's dream came true as he started his first competitive game for Wales at the Millennium Stadium.

By Derek Davis

IPSWICH Town keeper Lewis Price's dream came true as he started his first competitive game for Wales at the Millennium Stadium.

It was a satisfying night all round for Ipswich Town's international contingent with Price on the winning side as Wales beat Cyprus 3-1 while Alan Lee's Republic of Ireland redeemed themselves a little with a well-earned 1-1 draw against the Czech Republic in Dublin.

Price made his full international bow in an away friendly, also against Cyprus and played in a friendly against Paraguay but last night's match in front of his own fans topped that.

He said: “I have worked hard to reach this and it means the world to me to have played in a competitive game for Wales.

“It was lovely to have started at the Millennium Stadium as well.

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“I came on as a sub against Paraguay in the stadium but this was far more special.”

The Blues keeper made a couple of fine saves in a steady performances in which he was never overly stretched as Wales romped to a 3-1 victory over the Cypriots in European Championship qualifying Group D.

Price added: “It was important for us after Saturday and not only did we get a good result but the team played well and we could have won by five or six.

“I was disappointed not to have kept a clean sheet but it was a great finish and I could not have done anything more.”

Striker Alan Lee was an unused sub as the Republic of Ireland drew 1-1 with the Czech Republic at Lansdowne Road to make up a little for their embarrassing 5-2 loss in Cyprus on Saturday.

Town manager Jim Magilton once more enjoyed his role as a studio pundit in Belfast, as Northern Ireland beat Latvia by a single David Healy goal at Windsor Park. The Leeds striker made it 24 goals in 54 international appearances with a glorious winner.

Ipswich continue to wait for the first instalment of their hoped-for £400,000 payment from Charlton Athletic as part of the £3million deal that took Darren Bent to the Valley.

The Blues will get £200,000 for each of the first two competitive matches Bent plays for England but he was an unused sub in their 2-0 defeat against Croatia in Zagreb.

The Republic of Ireland have given Ipswich permission for Billy Clarke to withdraw from their squad that faces Luxembourg next Wednesday as the Blues have a Championship fixture with Preston on the Tuesday.

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