Vaughan impresses in Welsh defeat

DAVID Vaughan fared best of the Blackpool contingent on international duty over the weekend, even though his Welsh side lost their World Cup qualifier in Finland 2-1.

The Seasiders midfielder made his first start for his country in more than two years after Robert Earnshaw flew home the night before with a calf injury.

And his impressive display was highlighted by a low cross from the left to set up Craig Bellamy's equaliser on 17 minutes.

Vaughan, winning his 18th cap, raced on to a ball down the left by Gareth Bale and Bellamy spun away from former Liverpool skipper Sami Hyypia to beat Bolton keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen from close in.

It was Bellamy's 17th goal for his country and he is now Wales' fifth highest all-time scorer.

Ian Rush, Ivor Allchurch, Trevor Ford and Dean Saunders are the only players to have scored more than the Cardiff-born Manchester City attacker.

Wales' chronic injury problems meant that manager John Toshack could name only four substitutes for the Group Four qualifier at Helsinki's Olympic stadium.

And their problems for Wednesday's match in Liechtenstein were compounded by yellow cards for Bellamy and Wayne Hennessey that will see them banned from the final group match.

Vaughan's Blackpool team-mate Neal Eardley took over from Lewin Nyatanga after 82 minutes to claim his 12th cap.

Scorer Bellamy praised Vaughan, saying: " I'd got an equaliser which was from a really good move down the left and a great ball into me from David Vaughan.

But he added: "Sadly, this is the end of the group for me, and it hasn't been a great campaign," he said.

"But I have been here before, it's not the first time, and you always try to make it better. We keep saying one day the kids will blossom – again we will have to wait and see."