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Nedum happy to break the duck

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Nedum Onuoha was the first of four Manchester City Academy Graduates to score for their country over the weekend as he headed England's Under 21s into a sixth minute lead against Montenegro on Friday night.

The 20-year-old defender's goal put the Young Lions on the road to a 3-0 victory, which was matched by the senior side the following day as they effectively ended Israel's hopes of qualifying for Euro 2008.

Fellow Graduates, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Micah Richards opened and closed the scoring for England at Wembley, while Stephen Ireland also got on the scoresheet for Ireland on Saturday.

With the second round of international fixtures getting underway tonight, Nedum reflected on the weekend's goalscoring feats from the former Academy players.

Ahead of the Under 21s game against Bulgaria, Nedum said: "It's not bad at all. The other three are always likely to score goals, but I've not scored in two or three years, so it was nice to break that duck. Hopefully it will have a snowball effect now and I'll get a few more."

Saturday saw the first of possibly many goals from Nedum's City colleague, Micah Richards, who told thefa.com after the 3-0 win over Israel: "When I made my debut I said it was the best day of my life, but I think this is the best day of my life.

"I'm very proud of myself, but very proud of the team as well, not just the goal but the three points. We've had a bit of stick over the last couple of weeks but today we showed what we can do."

The powerful defender added: "I thought all the boys were outstanding. It was a good, solid team performance. Hopefully we can take that into Wednesday."

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