Release Date: 15/10/2012
NORTHERN Ireland Under-19s bowed out of the European Championships in the group stage despite a tremendous 8-1 win against Moldova at Shamrock Park.
Stephen Robinson’s young team needed to win, and hope for a Greek victory against the Czech Republic, to qualify for the next stage. However a 2-1 win for the Czechs saw them top the group leaving Greece to go through on the head-to-head rule against Northern Ireland.
Attacking from the first whistle, Northern Ireland immediately put Moldova on the back foot and were 4-0 up in the first half hour courtesy of a Dominic Ball hat-trick and a strike from Michael Duffy. Ryan McLaughlin added a fifth before the break with a shot from outside the box.
The second half followed much the same pattern as the first with Northern Ireland having numerous chances to add to their tally. Ball scored his fourth and Northern Ireland’s sixth midway through the half, before Moldova scored a consolation penalty after Dougie Wilson fouled Apostolov.
However Northern Ireland were not finished with Paul McElroy breaking down the left channel to rifled his shot in-off the bar, before Andrew Mitchell made it eight for Northern Ireland in added time.
A great performance for Stephen Robinson’s side who, despite the disappointment of missing out on qualification, will be delighted with what he saw today at Shamrock Park.
Final Score: Northern Ireland 8 – 1 Moldova
Ball (18, 21, 29 pen, 64) Mudrac (81 pen)
Northern Ireland: Johns, McLaughlin, McNally, McCullough, Duffy, Wilson, McElroy, Clarke, Ball, McEneff, McMurray. Subs: Deane, Sendles-White, Barton, Jones, Mitchell
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