Historic win for u16's in Finland

Sep 23 2013 12:00 PM

The Northern Ireland Under 16 team recorded a historic 1-0 win against Finland in the first ever international match to be staged at Mäntyharju.

The local population was out in force, hoping for a home victory to mark the momentous occasion. However, it was the visitors who took control from the start with Luke Fisher testing the Finnish keeper with a low cross while Jake Francis was just off target with a rasping 25 yard drive.

The Finns first effort came in a quick breakaway after 20 minutes when Benjamin Kallman sent Rony Huhtala clear but the striker dragged his shot wide of the upright. Northern Ireland deservedly went in front after 33 minutes following a good move. Nathan Kerr sent Conor McKendry racing away down the right wing and when the winger cut the ball back Ryan Caulfield fired into the roof of the net.

After the interval Finland pushed forward and Tom McDermott did well to punch away a fierce drive by Joonas Sundman. Northern Ireland Manager Desi Curry brought on Shea Conaty after 53 minutes and the striker, who had scored twice against Finland earlier in the week, rattled the crossbar with his first touch of the ball.

In the closing stages the home side pressed strongly but the Northern Ireland defence with centre backs Matthew Smyth and Dylan King in commanding form withstood the pressure.

Northern Ireland
Tom McDermott
Nathan Kerr
Caoimhghin Mulligan
Matthew Smyth
Dylan King
Luke Fisher
Martin Olali
Jake Francis
Conor McKendry
Emmett McNabb
Ryan Caulfield

Matthew Henry (replaced Ol li53 minutes)
Shea Gordon (replaced McNabb 53 minutes)
Shea Conaty (replaced Fisher 53 minutes)
Mark McKee (replaced McKendry 68 minutes)
Joe Crowe (replaced Francis 68 minutes)
Kyle McClean (replaced Caulfield 79 minutes)