European Under-21 qualifiers: Northern Ireland beaten in Macedonia

Northern Ireland Under-21 manager Jim Magilton
Jim Magilton's side suffered a seventh defeat in eight Uefa Under-21 qualifiers

Northern Ireland Under-21s suffered a seventh defeat in eight European Championship qualifiers as they lost 2-0 against Macedonia in Skopje.

A Josh Doherty own goal put the home side 1-0 up after 37 minutes and Kire Markoski hit a late second goal.

The defeat means Jim Magilton's Northern Ireland side are certain to finish bottom of Group Three.

They are seven points behind second-from-bottom Scotland with only next month's two games remaining.

Magilton's side conclude their campaign with a trip against Ukraine followed by a home game against France.

The unlucky Doherty was helpless when Daniel Avramovski turned a cross into the box and it hit the Northern Ireland man to beat goalkeeper Conor Mitchell as heavy rain fell.

Moments earlier, Northern Ireland's Everton striker Shayne Lavery had been unfortunate not to score the opener when his close-range effort was well saved by Igor Aleksovski.

However, Macedonia remained on top and wrapped up the victory five minutes from time when Markoski drove into the box and fired beyond Mitchell.

Northern Ireland's only point in the group came in their second fixture in Iceland 12 months ago.

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