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Tuesday 23 Apr 2024
U16s earn extra point against Ukraine

Northern Ireland’s Under-16 boys’ development team earned two points after drawing with Ukraine U16s and adding an extra point by winning a penalty shootout against them.


UEFA Development Tournament


Ukraine U16 2-2 (6-7 pens) Northern Ireland U16


Ukraine: Menshykov (29’), Zudin (90+3’)

Northern Ireland: McCann (38’), Eldred (48’)


Estonian FA’s National Training Centre, Tallinn


23 April 2024

Team News

Head coach Kris Lindsay has brought a 20-strong panel to Estonia this week for a UEFA U16 Development Tournament.

The four-team tournament features Ukraine, Luxembourg and Estonia along with Northern Ireland. It is being staged at the Estonian FA’s National Training Centre, an indoor facility connected to the national stadium (A Le Coq Arena) in Tallinn.

The bulk of the players in Lindsay’s panel attend the Irish FA JD Academy based at Ulster University’s Jordanstown campus.

How it happened

Northern Ireland started positively in the Estonian capital. In the fourth minute Matthew Burns won the ball and slipped it to Sidney Eldred who in turn found captain Chris Atherton. He got a shot away but it was just off target.

Ukraine missed a chance before Darragh McCann slipped the ball to Jack Faloona on the edge of the box, however he shot straight at the keeper.

McCann’s long range effort drifted wide and Ukraine missed another opportunity before they opened the scoring on 29 minutes through Illia Menshykov.

Northern Ireland responded well and levelled nine minutes later. Eldred and Cohen Beattie combined to play in Burns and his cross was slotted home by McCann.

Half-time: Ukraine U16 1-1 Northern Ireland U16

Just after the interval Eldred was brought down inside the penalty area and he dusted himself down to slot home the resulting spot kick.

On 82 minutes Ukrainian keeper Yehor Krapivin produced a fine stop to deny Burns as Northern Ireland continued to press.

Against the run of play Ukraine substitute Dmytro Zudin scored three minutes into added time to make it 2-2.

Northern Ireland won the penalty shootout 7-6. The penalty scorers were Scott Hamilton, Leon Barr, Brandon Downey, Kalum Thompson, Darragh McCann, Matthew Burns and Callum Downey.

Afterwards Kris Lindsay said: “I thought we were excellent today against a strong and impressive Ukraine side. Throughout the game we were composed in possession, moving the ball well and creating numerous chances.

“Out of possession we were resolute with a good shape and structure. We limited Ukraine to only a few opportunities. We were disappointed to concede late in the game. We should have had the game wrapped up given the number of chances we created.

“Credit to the players, who showed confidence and composure to score all their penalties, with Finn McDowell making an excellent save to help us win the shootout. It was a really positive start to the tournament which we will build on over the next two games.”

Matchday two, on Thursday (25 April), will see Northern Ireland take on Luxembourg (1pm CET, noon BST).

Full-time: Ukraine U16 2-2 (6-7 pens) Northern Ireland U16

Ukraine: Yehor Krapivin, Oleksandr Boiko, Mukhammad Dzhurabaiev, Artem Zubriy, Yaroslav Mylokost, Yehor Kostiuk, Nikita Kaliuzhnyi, Oleksandr Balakai, Pavlo Liusin (captain), Ivan Andreyko, Illia Menshykov.

Substitutes: Ihor Kostenko (GK), Oleksii Piskun, Arsen Zalypka, Volodymyr Umansky, Mykyta Melnyk, Dmytro Zudin, Volodymyr Shelepinskyi, Oleksandr Kroitar, Illia Kutia, Artem Korzh, Rolan Mustafaiev.

Northern Ireland: Finn McDonnell, Cohen Beattie, Darragh McCann, Noah McDonnell, Leon Barr, Jack Faloona, Christopher Atherton (captain), Matthew Burns, Sidney Eldred, Oisin Gamble, Callum Downey.

Substitutes: (used) Christian Coyle, Harry Allen, Scott Hamilton, Kalum Thompson, Brandon Downey; (unused) Zak Robinson (GK), Glenn McCourt, Jayden Charnley, Shay Reid.