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Wednesday 27 Mar 2024
U17s turn on the style against Hungary

Northern Ireland’s Under-17s produced a great display to defeat Hungary in their final game in the UEFA U17 Euro 2024 Elite Round Qualifiers. They came from behind to win 3-1.


UEFA U17 Euro 2024 Elite Round Qualifiers


Northern Ireland U17 3-1 Hungary U17


Northern Ireland: Cole Brannigan (50’), Ryan Corrigan (78’), Braiden Graham (84’)

Hungary: Kevin Mondovics (23’)


St George’s Park, Staffordshire


26 March 2024

Team News

Northern Ireland U17 coaches Andy Waterworth and Kris Lindsay freshened things up for the team’s third and final game in the U17 Euro 2024 elite round qualifiers.

The starting XI showed five changes from the team that began game two against France.

Coming in to the side were defender Conor Haughey, midfielders Keevan Hawthorne and Callum Burnside plus forwards Oscar Kelly and Ceadach O’Neill.

How it happened

Despite losing to top seeds England and second seeds France in their first two fixtures in the group, Northern Ireland played well against both of them, and they were determined to show their pedigree against third seeds Hungary. And they certainly did that, especially in the second half.

Northern Ireland pressed from the start. Striker Ceadach O’Neill had a shot blocked and midfielder Callum Burnside forced a save out of Hungarian keeper Botond Kocsis before striker Oscar Kelly hit the woodwork.

Midfielder and captain Dylan Stitt steered an effort wide before Hungary took the lead against the run of play in the 23rd minute. Noel Lakatos teed up Kevin Mondovics and he applied the finish.

Hungary captain Patrik Kovacs missed a chance, while Northern Ireland keeper Owen Grainger saved from Lakatos and Kovacs.

Towards the end of the half Burnside spurned a couple of opportunities, while Kovacs was off target with a shot.

Half-time: Northern Ireland U17 0-1 Hungary U17

Northern Ireland were simply sensational in the second half.

Attackers Braiden Graham and Cole Brannigan entered the fray from the bench and they had a big impact on the game.

Brannigan, who took the armband in the second half, levelled on 50 minutes. Set up by Graham, he expertly curled the ball into the bottom corner.

Kocsis kept out efforts from Graham, Burnside, O’Neill and another substitute, James Simpson, as Northern Ireland piled forward.

On 78 minutes the U17s deservedly took the lead when substitute Ryan Corrigan netted.

Six minutes later Graham produced a bit of magic to make it 3-1. He bobbed and weaved through the Hungarian defence before slotting the ball home.

In added time Graham steered an effort wide, while Hungary substitute Barna Pal also missed the target.

Afterwards coach Andy Waterworth said: “That was possibly the best second half I have been involved in as a coach. Hungary are ranked higher than us but we scored three very good goals and the players deserve a huge amount of credit.

“It was pleasing to see the team manage the game through to the final whistle. We didn’t let the game pass us by. We had a real desire to win and we were delighted to have the team in the changing room watching the seniors win after hearing the U21s had also won.”

Today’s result meant Northern Ireland’s U17s finished third in Group 1.

Both France and England progressed to the final tournament in Cyprus (20 May to 5 June). France defeated England 2-1 today to top the group.

Full-time: Northern Ireland U17 3-1 Hungary U17


Northern Ireland U17: Owen Grainger, Alex Watson, Matthew Orr, Conor Haughey, Callum Leacock, Keevan Hawthorne, Callum Burnside, Troy Savage, Dylan Stitt (captain), Oscar Kelly, Ceadach O’Neill.

Substitutes: (used) Cole Brannigan, Braiden Graham, Ryan Corrigan, James Simpson, Jack Doherty; (unused) Will Murdock (GK), Senan Devine.

Hungary U17: Botond Kocsis, Viktor Vitalyos, Adam Decsy, Botond Szeker, Dominik Csorba, Adam Somogyi, Botond Bolgar, Kevin Mondovics, Noel Lakatos, Patrik Kovacs (captain), Barnabas Barkoczi.

Substitutes: (used) Barna Pal, Adam Madarasz, Zalan Kugyela, Marton Szep, Imre Egri; (unused) Lorinc Papp (GK), Noel Csorba, Artur Kancsij, Zsombor Hos.