Release Date: 12/10/2012
NORTHERN Ireland U19s face an uphill battle to progress to the Elite Round of the UEFA European Championships following a two-goal defeat by Greece at Stangmore Park.
Stephen Robinson's side fell behind on 52 minutes through a Nikos Ioannidis penalty.
The Olympiakos striker had been fouled by Liam Conlan - for which the Burnley defender received a straight red card - but dusted himself down to fire high into the roof of the net past 'keeper Gareth Deane.
Greece doubled their lead with a quarter-of-an-hour remaining after substitute Diamantis Chouchoumis, only on the pitch for two minutes, struck against the run of play.
Despite the outcome Northern Ireland did enjoy a number of chances throughout the game.
Up until Greece opened the scoring there wasn't much between the sides but, on 66 minutes, Dominic Ball came close to equalising with a glancing header from a David Morgan corner.
And Ball threatened again right at the end when he broke through on goal only for his shot to be well parried by Greek 'keeper Lefteris Choutesiotis.
Elsewhere in Group Four, Czech Republic defeated Moldova 2-0 at Shamrock Park.
That result means that Northern Ireland must defeat Moldova in the concluding game on Monday in Portadown and hope for a positive result for either Greece or the Czech Republic in their meeting at Ballymena. A draw would see Northern Ireland eliminated. Both games kick-off at 12 noon.
Northern Ireland: Deane, McLaughlin, Sendles-White, McNally, Conlan, Barton, Morgan, Ball, Jones, McElroy, Mitchell subs Johns (not used), McCullough (not used), Duffy (replaced Barton 58), Wilson (not used), Clarke (not used), McEneff (replaced McLaughlin 40), McMurray (replaced Mitchell 58)
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