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Vokes thrilled for old mate Trippier

Kieran Trippier and Sam Vokes
Kieran Trippier and Sam Vokes
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Clarets striker Sam Vokes is thrilled to see his old teammate Kieran Trippier shine on the World Cup stage.

And the Wales striker admits he was willing him to score from the spot in Tuesday’s heart-stopping penalty shootout win over Colombia in the last 16.

Despite Wales’ heartache, as their only defeat in qualifying - at home to the Republic of Ireland - cost them a play-off spot, Vokes has been enjoying the tournament, and following England’s fortunes with interest.

Trippier has been arguably England’s standout performer so far, and Vokes, who spent three and a bit seasons alongside the former Manchester City youngster, was delighted to see him find the top corner with a nerveless spot kick, to help the Three Lions advance to the last eight: “I dropped Tripps a message, and it’s been great to see him doing so well.

“I was nervous for him when he stepped up to take a penalty against Colombia, I wanted him to stick it away, and he was pure class.

“He was so cool.

“He used to fancy himself at free kicks when he was here, but he didn’t take penalties - I wouldn’t let him near them!

“But he was so calm and focused, and to put it in the top corner under that pressure was fantastic.”

Two years ago, Wales were semi-finalists at Euro 2016 in France, as they topped England’s group, despite a 2-1 defeat to their home nation rivals.

But while Roy Hodgson’s side were knocked out in the last 16 by Iceland, and Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Wales knocked out fancied Belgium in the quarter-finals, with Vokes scoring a glorious header to make it 3-1.

Belgium and England both hope to make it to the World Cup semi-finals this weekend, and Vokes would love to be in Russia with Wales: “I’ve been watching all the World Cup, I’ve been a bit envious, with us not making it, but it’s been great to see, there’s been some fantastic games and it’s been an exciting tournament

“I’m gutted we didn’t make it, and you look at Belgium, and what we did two years ago, and it’s frustrating, but we focus on the next Euros now.”

The draw for Euro 2020 qualifying takes place in Dublin on December 2nd, with games starting later than usual in March 2019.

This time around, 20 teams will reach the finals via the normal qualifying route, but the other four nations will earn their places via the new Nations League.