Welsh star Gareth Bale scored a hat-trick in a 6-0 thrashing of China to become the nation’s leading goalscorer.
Wales international coach Ryan Giggs, who was making his debut, watched as the striker put Wales ahead inside three minutes with a fine run and finish clipped into the top corner.
Bale then slotted in a second soon after to move level with Ian Rush’s mark of 28 goals, before Sam Vokes’ flick and Harry Wilson’s excellent whipped effort on his 21st birthday gave the visitors a 4-0 half-time lead.
Vokes then added his second and Wales’ fifth after the break, and then Bale sealed his hat-trick and surpassed Rush’s milestone with a clinical low finish to complete the rout.
“This is right up there, if not the best achievement I have done,” said Bale, who has won three Champions League titles with Madrid. “Anything you do for your country is the pinnacle, it is the biggest honour you can have. It’s not just an individual thing, it’s thanks to the whole team, everyone who I’ve played with and all the managers I’ve had.”
“The most important thing for me and for us was to get off to a good start under the new manager and I thought we played very well. We did exactly what Ryan asked. There are still things to work on, but we’re happy with the way we’re going.”
“It’s a tremendous achievement for Gareth to be the top goal scorer in front of someone like Ian who was a legendary goalscorer and one of the best I have ever seen,” Giggs added.
“Once upon a time his was a record that many people thought would not get beaten, but Gareth has not only beaten it, he will carry on scoring as he is a tremendous talent. It’s a fantastic moment for him and he fully deserves it. It was a great result and a great performance.”
The Wales team will now play in Monday’s final of the China Cup friendly tournament, against the winner of the second semi-final between Uruguay and the Czech Republic on Friday.