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Friday 26 Apr 2024
Under-16s draw with Luxembourg

Northern Ireland’s Under-16 boys’ development team drew with Luxembourg U16s but missed out on an extra point after losing a penalty shootout against them.


UEFA U16 Development Tournament


Luxembourg U16 2-2 (3-2 pens) Northern Ireland U16


Northern Ireland: Kalum Thompson (2’), Scott Hamilton (13’)


Estonian FA’s National Training Centre, Tallinn


25 April 2024

Team News

For Northern Ireland’s second game at the U16 development tournament in Estonia, head coach Kris Lindsay made seven changes to the starting line-up from game one against Ukraine.

Zak Robinson replaced Finn McDonnell in nets, while Jayden Charnley, Christian Coyle, Glenn McCourt, Kalum Thompson, Brandon Downey and Scott Hamilton also made their first starts in the four-team tournament being staged this week at the Estonian FA’s National Training Centre, an indoor facility connected to the national stadium (A Le Coq Arena) in Tallinn.

Noah McDonnell, Oisin Gamble, Jack Faloona and Cohen Beattie were the four players who retained their places in the team.

How it happened

Northern Ireland went ahead after just two minutes. Oisin Gamble played in Brandon Downey who fired in a cross. The Luxembourg keeper clutched the ball but then dropped it and striker Kalum Thompson was on hand to tap it into the net.

It was even and intense after that, with Northern Ireland enjoying decent spells of possession.

The U16s extended their lead on 13 minutes. Glenn McCourt won a free-kick after good hold-up play. The ball was then superbly delivered into the danger zone by Thompson to Scott Hamilton and he headed it home.

Luxembourg created a couple of chances in the run-up to the interval but they failed to convert them. It was a half of few opportunities for either team.

Half-time: Luxembourg U16 0-2 Northern Ireland U16

Just after the interval Northern Ireland conceded a penalty when Jayden Charnley was adjudged to have fouled an opponent inside the area. However, the spot kick was saved by Zak Robinson.

Luxembourg pulled a goal back on 60 minutes, but then Northern Ireland enjoyed a good spell of pressure sparked by the introduction of Chris Atherton from the bench.

Atherton’s shot at the end of a mazy run was stopped by the keeper, who saved from Atherton again after he was teed up by Cohen Beattie.

In the closing stages another sub, Sidney Eldred, had an effort saved, while Robinson produced a good stop from a long range shot.

Luxembourg drew level in added time, which meant there was a penalty shootout to decide which team would get an extra point.

Atherton and Eldred scored from the spot, but Shay Reid and Matthew Burns missed, and Luxembourg won the shootout 3-2.

Northern Ireland’s third and final game in the tournament is against hosts Estonia at the same venue on Sunday (28 April). That game will kick off at 4pm CET (3pm BST).

Full-time: Luxembourg U16 2-2 (3-2 pens) Northern Ireland U16


Northern Ireland: Zak Robinson, Noah McDonnell, Oisin Gamble, Jayden Charnley, Christian Coyle, Jack Faloona, Glenn McCourt, Kalum Thompson, Cohen Beattie, Brandon Downey, Scott Hamilton.

Substitutes: (used) Darragh McCann, Matthew Burns, Callum Downey, Christopher Atherton, Shay Reid, Sidney Eldred; (unused) Finn McDonnell (GK), Harry Allen, Leon Barr.