Northern Ireland 2-0 Wales
Northern Ireland (Callum Burnside 6' & 48')
Ozier Park, Waterford
Friday, 4 November 2022
Northern Ireland made a number of changes for this final Victory Shield game, fielding just three of the starting XI from Tuesday's draw with the Republic of Ireland (Callum Cowan, Ceadach O'Neill and Alex Watson)while Jack Doherty donned the captain's armband.
How it happened
Starting brightly, Northern Ireland needed just six minutes to seize the advantage when Callum Burnside found the net with a sweetly struck right-foot free-kick from outside the area into the top left corner awarded after he had been brought down by Welsh captain Makenzie Bradbury.
Burnside might have found the net a short time later when his corner from the left bypassed everyone to strike the top of the crossbar.
And Northern Ireland had the ball in the net again five minutes after that but Christopher Atherton was adjudged to have fouled keeper Logan Stretch as they both attempted to reach Callum Cowan's left-sided cross.
Northern Ireland continued to press forward, coming close later in the first half after Atherton laid the ball off for Ceadach O'Neill but he could only fire straight at the keeper while Noah McDonnell had a shot from distance well turned away by Stretch.
However, Northern Ireland did double their lead early in the second half after Christopher Atherton won possession on the halfway line, broke down the right, cut inside and laid the ball off for the waiting Burnside to sweep into the net from the edge of the six-yard box.
Wales did pose a bigger threat after the break and might have pulled one back just before the hour through substitute Charlie Stevens only for his flicked header from Bradbury's free-kick dropped the wrong side of the far post.
Not long after that Welsh substitute Josh Gentles was presented with a free header from Cruz Allen's corner but couldn't keep his effort on target.
Northern Ireland continued to look the more likely to find the net again, though, with Atherton being unlucky when the ball bounced awkwardly for him in front goal.
Then, in stoppage time, Olibhar McCart forced Stretch into a save at his near post before Burnside came close to bagging his hat-trick goal when he attempted to curl the ball in from left towards the far post.
Northern Ireland: Joshua Gracey, Callum Cowan, Jack Doherty (Blaine McClure 50), Callum Burnside, Sean Corry (Cole Brannigan 50), Caoimhan McDermott, Troy Savage (Dylan Stitt 70'), Noah McDonnell, Christopher Atherton (Olibhar McCart 70'), Ceadach O'Neill (Mickey Harkin 41), Alex Watson
Subs not used: Will Murdock, Conor McVeigh, Conor Haughey, Calum Moreland, Oscar Kelly, Fionn Duffy
Wales: Logan Stretch, Ronan Kapakio, Caio Ifans (Luca Picotto 41), Makenzie Bradbury (Josh Gentles 62), Charlie Walker-Smith, Luis Gardner, Josh Salmon, Cruz Allen, Zac King-Phillips (Charlie Stevens 41), Hari Roberts (Elliot Myles 62), Adam Brett
Subs not used: Jack Ruddy, Brogan Popham, Thomas Dearden, Harrison Pugh, Aidan Higgins