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New kid Ben is one for the ages

By Reuters in London | China Daily | Updated: 2016-12-01 07:29

New kid Ben is one for the ages


New kid Ben is one for the ages

Ben Woodburn celebrates netting Liverpool's second goal against Leeds in the League Cup at Anfield on Tuesday to become the Reds' youngest-ever scorer. [Photo/IC]

Teenager Woodburn eclipses Owen in firing Liverpool into semifinals

Liverpool teenager Ben Woodburn made history as the striker became the club's youngest-ever scorer in Tuesday's 2-0 win over Leeds in their League Cup quarter-final.

Aged 17 years and 45 days, Woodburn enjoyed a moment to remember forever in the 81st minute at Anfield when he fired home in front of the Kop End.

The strike eclipsed the previous record set by former England international Michael Owen, who was 17 years and 143 days old when he scored against Wimbledon in May 1997.

"Another record taken from me!!! Congratulations BenWoodburn on becoming the youngest ever scorer for LFC at 17yrs and 45 days. #KopEnd," Owen tweeted.

Woodburn only made his senior debut for Liverpool on Saturday as a late substitute in the Premier League win over Sunderland - an appearance that made him the third youngest first-team player in club history.

Woodburn - like Owen, also born in nearby Cheshire - recently signed a long-term contract at Anfield. He is a Wales Under-19 international but remains eligible to play for England at senior level.

While it's far too early to say a star was born on Tuesday, Woodburn's impressive pedigree at youth level and his fairytale first goal for the Reds suggest he is one to watch.

"Ben, we know how young he is. It's a nice story and all the boys are really happy for him," Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp said.

"Everyone is smiling in the dressing room. It's a good moment for him and a good moment for us."

Woodburn and Divock Origi, who netted in the 76th minute, ensured it is the third successive year Liverpool has reached the semifinals.

Klopp has now won seven of his nine League Cup games with Liverpool, which hopes to lift the trophy for the ninth time after losing to Manchester City in the final last term.

Before kickoff, Liverpool's Brazilian captain Lucas and his teammates, all wearing black armbands, stood for a minute's silence following the plane crash that killed 75 people, including members of the Brazilian side Chapecoense.

With in-form Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho sidelined for five weeks with an ankle injury, Klopp gave starts to teenagers Trent Alexander-Arnold and Ovie Ejaria in a team showing eight changes from the win over the Black Cats.

Second-tier Leeds should have been ahead early on when Hadi Sacko broke the offside trap and saw his shot saved by Simon Mignolet.

Liverpool gradually took charge and Sadio Mane's pass sprung Georginio Wijnaldum, but the Dutchman's shot struck the far post.

With 14 minutes left, 18-year-old Alexander-Arnold crossed from the right and Belgian striker Origi stretched to guide the ball home at the near post for his fourth goal of the season and third in the League Cup.

Woodburn came on in the 67th minute and his dream came true when he smashed into the net following a flowing move involving Origi, Mane and Wijnaldum.

"He is a brilliant young player. He did very well. A goal will give him confidence to keep learning," Lucas said of Woodburn.

In the night's other quarterfinal, Premier League strugglers Hull beat Championship leader Newcastle 3-1 on penalties after a 1-1 draw to reach the last four for the first time.

Both sides made a host of changes and a drab game didn't come to life until the 89th minute when Hull's Dieumerci Mbokani was sent off after lunging forward with his head at Jamaal Lascelles.

Newcastle took the lead eight minutes into extra-time when former Hull midfielder Mohamed Diame stabbed in, but Robert Snodgrass equalized a minute later.

In the shootout, Tigers goalkeeper Eldin Jakupovic saved from Jonjo Shelvey before Toon forward Dwight Gayle hit the crossbar.

Jakupovic then turned away Yoan Gouffran's kick to clinch the win.

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