DUBLIN, REPUBLIC OF IRELAND - Sunday, October 11, 2020: Wales' Neco Williams during the UEFA Nations League Group Stage League B Group 4 match between Republic of Ireland and Wales at the Aviva Stadium. The game ended in a 0-0 draw. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Neco Williams makes scoreboard impact in 1st start in over 3 months

Neco Williams has yet to feature for Liverpool so far this season but his callup to the Wales squad paved the way for his first start in over three months.

An injury forced the 20-year-old to pull out of Wales’ squad for the September international break, with a return to the Reds’ matchday squad not arriving until the trip to Porto.

It’s left little opportunity to work his way back into Jurgen Klopp‘s thinking with Trent Alexander-Arnold, James Milner, Joe Gomez and Conor Bradley all getting minutes at right-back.

But having been readily turned to by his country, he was finally handed the minutes he no doubt craved by Robert Page, lining up at left-wing-back for the World Cup qualifier against the Czech Republic.

It was the first time Williams name was penned in a starting XI since Wales bowed out of Euro 2020 on June 26, some 104 days later – where he went on to play a total of 76 minutes.

It was a topsy-turvy night and Williams offered plenty of forward drive to link up with Leeds‘ Dan James, but it was Aaron Ramsey that he would lay on an assist for.

A counter-attack from a Czech corner saw Williams on the right, with a well-weighted ball curling around the defenders and into Ramsey, making the scoreboard read 1-0.

The Czech Republic would score on either side of half-time, with ex-Red Danny Ward not covering himself in glory in goal with a horror own goal, before James rescued a point late on.

Elsewhere, Virgil van Dijk led the Netherlands to a 1-0 win at Latvia, with the defender playing the full 90 minutes and, vitally, coming out unscathed.

Virgil van Dijk Netherlands (Photo by Broer van den Boom/Orange Pictures)

Liverpool’s No. 4 had one nervy moment after losing the ball in the middle of the pitch but the Netherlands would escape punishment with Davy Klaassen’s volley enough to keep Louis van Gaal’s side top of their World Cup qualifying group.

Finally, Mohamed Salah was kept uncharacteristically quiet by his usual standards as Egypt notched a 1-0 win over Libya in their qualifier, with the No. 11 playing all 90 minutes.

Jordan Henderson, Andy Robertson, Sadio Mane, Naby Keita, Kostas Tsimikas and Caoimhin Kelleher could all be in action on Saturday, while doubts surround Diogo Jota‘s fitness.