Euro pain for youngsters
English Barclays Premiership
It wasn’t the best of nights for our young stars in European Under-21 Championship qualifying action.
Gary Doherty helped Republic of Ireland take the lead in Portugal before going down 3-1, Simon Davies played and James Attwell was on the bench in Wales’ 2-0 defeat against Norway while Ciaran Toner was in the Northern Irish side beaten 3-0 by Denmark.
Here are the reports from Sky Sports:
Portugal 3 Republic of Ireland 1
Don Givens’ Republic of Ireland youngsters took the lead in Portugal, but were undone by three second-half goals in Marinha Grande.
Sunderland’s promising striker Michael Reddy put his side ahead on the stroke of half-time, tapping home after Colin Healy’s pass was flicked on by Gary Doherty. It looked as if the Republic may get revenge for their 3-0 defeat in Toulon.
However, Candido Costa ran onto Hugo Leal's pass and hammered home an unstoppable equaliser after 64 minutes and Ednilson’s thumping 30-yard free-kick made gave them the lead.
Miguel game the game safe nine minutes from time, when goalkeeper Dean Delaney collided with defender John O’Shea when he came for a cross and the striker was left ith an empty net.
Portugal U21: Leite, Tonel, Caneira, Faisca, Fredy, Ribeiro Leal, Almeida (Ferreira 62), Ednilson, C. Costa (Alhandra 83), P. Costa (Semedo 78), Miguel.
Subs Not Used: M. Santos, Carreira, Paulo, Felipo.
Goals: C. Costa 64, Ednilson 77, Miguel 81.
Rep of Ireland U21: C. Delaney, Healy, Clarke, O'Shea, Gavin, B. Quinn, D. O'Connor, Reddy, Doherty, A. Quinn (A. Lynch 69), Barrett.
Subs Not Used: McGrath, Partridge, Hunt, B. Murphy, Rowlands, Miller.
Goals: Reddy 45.
Ref: E Blardau (Belgium)
Wales 0 Norway 2
Wales Under-21’s miserable run without a win extended to 16 games, but they can take a number of positives from their performance as they lost to Norway’s youngsters.
They have picked up just three draws in that run, giving Mark Hughes little to look forward to in the future, but they certainly did better than their display against Belarus last month.
Trond Ludvigsen scored a goal in each half, but his first owed a huge debt to some awful defending by Wolves full-back Ryan Green. His header did not reach goalkeeper Lee Kendall and Ludvigsen nipped in and fired home.
The striker grabbed his second of the game on 63 minutes, forcing his way through the defence and smashing pat Kendall.
Wales U21: Kendall, Green (S. Roberts 77), Gabbidon, Weston, Llewellyn, Jenkins (Slater 72), S. Roberts, S. Davies, J. Thomas, Earnshaw (S. Evans 89), Maxwell.
Subs Not Used: Day, D. Williams, K. Evans, Attwell.
Booked: J. Thomas, S. Roberts.
Norway U21: Johnsen, Holm, Karadas, Kah, Soma, Ludvigsen (Hoff 84), Rastad, George (Tengesdal 65), Bolseth (Hanssen 89), Oren, Carew.
Subs Not Used: Borch, Granaas, Wiken, Hanstveit.
Booked: Kah, Holm.
Goals: Ludvigsen 9, 63.
Ref: D Miezelis (Lithuania).
Northern Ireland 0 Denmark 3
Paul McAreavey may not be a household name — he has just two substitutes appearances to his name — yet he walked into the record books as he became the first Northern Ireland Under-21 star to be sent off.
The Swindon midfielder received two first-half bookings at The Oval as Roy Millar’s side were outplayed by a powerful Denmark side.
Kim Christiansen opened the scoring for the visitors after 20 minutes turning home Lars Jacobsen’s cross before McAreavey saw red.
Rangers striker Peter Lovenkrands then scored twice to make the scoreline convincing, slotting home in the 62nd minute when clear on goal and wrapping up the result nine minutes later.
N Ireland U21: Miskelly, Convery, Holmes, Toner, Dolan, Friars, R. Graham (Harkin 62), McAreevie, Kirk (Ingham 76), Hamilton, McCartney (G. McCann 58).
Subs Not Used: Kelly, Scades, Carlisle, Morrow.
Sent Off: McAreevie (40).
Booked: McAreevie, Dolan.
Denmark U21: Ankergren, L. Jacobsen, Johansen, Albrechtsen, M. Rasmussen, Sorensen (Laursen 87), Silberbauer (Heilbo 80), Mtiliga (Andreasen 71), Lovenkrands, D. Jensen, K. Christiansen.
Subs Not Used: Boglund, Krause, C. Jacobsen, Augustinussen.
Goals: K. Christiansen 20, Lovenkrands 62, 71.
Ref: D Drabek (Austria).