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Thursday 13 Oct 2022
Northern Ireland U15s suffer defeat to Slovenia


UEFA Development tournament: U15s


Slovenia 3-1 Northern Ireland


Slovenia 3 (Durmisi 23’, Belovic 39’, Hocevar 59’)

Northern Ireland 1 (Joel Kerr 65’)


Brezice Stadium, Slovenia


Thursday, 13 October 2022

Team news

It was a much-changed Northern Ireland starting XI from Tuesday’s penalty shootout defeat to Iceland. Kai Morgan replaced Milo Beimers in goal while Noah McDonnell took the armband for this one with Alex Watson named among the subs.  Coist Walker, Calum Anderson, Jack Faloona, Oli Devlin, Daniel Fox, Jay McEvoy, Glenn McCourt, Joel Kerr and Harry Allen were also handed starts.

As it happened:

After an even opening it was the Slovenians who broke the deadlock on 23 minutes. Capitalising on a loose pass out of defence, they broke through Nik Belovic. He picked out team-mate Arman Durmisi who produced a great finish into the top corner.

The hosts then doubled their advantage on the stroke of half time when Belovic found the bottom corner with a fine strike across goal after he had cut in from the left.

Northern Ireland were patient and tried to play through the thirds with Kerr and McCourt leading the way. Out of possession they kept their shape well with skipper McDonnell dealing well with the long balls Slovenia were throwing at them.

But just before the hour mark Slovenia broke down the right and Luka Vodusek unselfishly squared to Svit Hocevar who slotted home.

Northern Ireland pulled a goal back through Kerr. Faloona switched the play, picked out Devlin whose shot was parried by Stijan Gobec and Kerr was on hand to net From close range.

Northern Ireland enjoyed a lot more possession in the second session and while it was a second defeat in the three-game tournament there were plenty of positives, not least the performance of right-back Harry Allen who was one of the standout players.

Northern Ireland: Kai Morgan (GK), Coist Walker, Jayden Charnley, Noah McDonnell (C), Scott Hamilton, Oli Devlin, Daniel Fox, Jay McEvoy, Glenn McCourt, Joel Kerr, Harry Allen.

Subs: Alex Watson, Jack Faloona, Kalum Thompson, Christian Coyle, Caedach O'Neill, Milo Beimers (GK), Darragh McCann, Kian Maynes, Calum Anderson

Slovenia: Stijan Gobec, Minel Kujrakovic, Denis Videnovic, Matevz Simnovec (C), Nik Belovic, Luka Grlic (GK), Matt Zver, Arman Durmisi, Luka Loncar, Kristian Juric, Miha Matjasec.

Subs: Tilen Golic (GK), Vid Novak, Ziga Kranjc, Neic Viher, Luka Vodusek, Svit Hocevar, Tilen Letonja, Svit Blasko, Zan Mesko.

Next up 

Northern Ireland’s final game of the tournament is against Luxembourg on Sunday (16 October). It’s due to kick off at 9am UK time at the Brezice Stadium.

Match report by John Gillespie