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NI U-19 draw with Slovenia, 2 'penalties'

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Former Coleraine midfielder Patrick Kelly kicked off the latest series of Northern Ireland’s U19 euro qualifiers on Wednesday with a hard-fought 2-2 draw with Slovenia’s U19s, according to a report on the IFA website. Scored 2 goals.

Gerald Little’s side are in Group 13 of the 2022-23 UEFA European U-19 Championship qualifying round in the Netherlands this week.

And in the first game of a four-team mini-tournament, against Slovenia’s U19s in Assen this evening, they were able to clinch a win, only to fall at the final hurdle. They were leading 2-1 until the 90th minute when Slovenia equalized with a spectacular free-kick.

Midfielder Patrick Kelly, who moved to West Ham United from Coleraine in the summer, was a goal-scoring hero with two goals scored, but Northern Ireland’s defense was also heroic as the Slovenian attacked at every opportunity. was. During the game, Slovenia made 18 goal attempts, compared to Northern Ireland’s seven.

Slovenia at Sportpark Marsdijk came out of the block faster than Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland keeper Josh Clarke was tested by midfielder Tom Clujung six minutes later but was matched in his effort.

Midfielder Charlie Lindsay then took a free-kick, defender Ruairi McConville steered wide and Kurjung had another shot, but Clark saved it.

Kerry saves Slovenian keeper Neik Dermastija after Slovenian Micha Ilenić blocks a shot.

In the 29th minute, Clark again had to let his guard down to prevent Nico Casaro’s shot. Opposite striker Callum Marshall had his shot saved by Dermastija.

Northern Ireland’s first goal came in the 33rd minute. Lindsay fired in a corner where captain Michael Forbes met. A defender’s header was cleared, but Kerry volleyed home his ball loose through a sea of ​​bodies to open the scoring.

Kurjung’s shot drifted wide before Lindsay tested DeMastya again.

Northern Ireland’s next chance resulted in goal number two. Lindsay produced a sweet chip that the Slovenian keeper managed to push upwards. In the resulting corner Matty Carson singled out Kerry at the front post and he again volleyed the ball home.

Slovenia moved forward towards the end of the first half. First Busy Kurjung blocked the shot, then Clark saved well from Nino Milik.

Shortly after the break, Kerry nearly scored a hat-trick. He played a nice one-two with Marshall, but was unlucky to see his drive come back from inside the post.

Ilenić missed several chances and both Neik Krasnya and Marcel Lorber were close.

Slovenia continued to push forward, with Krasnja and Milic missing their target by a wide margin.

In the 76th minute, defender Srdán Kuzmich scored from a diagonal to score the goal.

A few minutes later, Slovenian substitute Jaka Potoknik’s shot equalized the score.

As the full-time whistle approached, Forbes conceded a free-kick for a foul on Slovenian substitute Alex Ristic.

Fellow Sabu Potoknik stepped up and took the free, curling the ball nicely into the top corner to make it 2-2. It was a true sucker punch at the home of amateur football club Achilles 1894.

Shortly after his death, another substitute, Luka Turdiya, had a chance to win against Slovenia, but his effort fell off target.

Northern Ireland’s U19s next match will be against hosts Netherlands at the same venue on Saturday (24 September, at 2pm UK time), with their final group game against Moldova. UK time). The Netherlands beat Moldova 2-0 in their other group match tonight.

Northern Ireland U19s: Josh Clarke, Brody Spencer, Matthew Carson, Ruairi McConville, Michael Forbes (captain), Patrick Kelly, Charlie Lindsay, Mackenzie Kirk, Callum Marshall, Conor Scannell, Darren Robinson. Standing In: (used) Sam Glenfield, Aaron Wightman. (Unused) Stephen McMullan (GK), Dylan Sloan, Josh Roney, Daithi McCallion, Lewis Trickett, Rio Morgan, Reece Evans.

Slovenia U19s: Nejc Dermastija, Srdan Kuzmic (captain), Nino Milic, Kristjan Trdin, Nejc Klasnja, Mitja Ilenic, Marcel Lorber, Tom Kljun, Niko Kasalo, Gasper Cerne and Beno Selan. Substitutes: Lukas Tomajic (GK), Machaz Pahic, Anel Zurić, Xaka Potoknik, Alex Ristic, Edvin Krupik, Tom Kerezovic, Luka Trudiya, Garupkonja.