Euro U21 Qualifying - Group 2
Northern Ireland U210Iceland U210

Northern Ireland U21 0-0 Iceland U21

Northern Ireland's Gavin Whyte has a shot saved by Iceland goalkeeper Sindri Olafsson
Northern Ireland's Gavin Whyte has a shot saved by Iceland goalkeeper Sindri Olafsson

Northern Ireland's hopes of competing at the 2019 European Under-21 Championship have been damaged after a goalless draw against Iceland.

Ian Baraclough's team dominated their guests at a blustery Coleraine Showgrounds but were unable to find a way past Iceland's Sindri Olafsson.

Northern Ireland are four points behind Spain in Group Two and have played two games more than the leaders.

Slovakia are two points behind in third place with Iceland another point back.

Both the third and fourth-placed teams also have a game in hand on Northern Ireland.

The home side appeared to determined to bounce back from the disappointment of their 5-3 defeat by Spain at Shamrock Park as they made a busy start to the game.

They could have scored twice inside the opening 10 minutes as wing-backs Bobby Burns and Jamie McDonagh attacked the fringes of the Icelandic defence.

McDonagh's swerving shot had to be batted away by Olafsson before Ben Kennedy failed to direct his header on target after the Stevenage forward was left unmarked at the back post.

The visitors threatened sporadically on the counter-attack as Albert Gudmundsson's free-kick flashed across the face of goal and Tryggvi Hrafn Haraldsson could not get on the end of a delightful through pass.

In contrast, Gavin Whyte was a constant threat for Northern Ireland and he had a couple of excellent chances to break the deadlock before half-time.

The pace of the Crusaders winger saw him break the offside trap in the 29th minute but he could not make a strong connection on his finish after rounding Olafsson, who then produced a good save to deny the same player just minutes later.

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Highlights: Northern Ireland U21s frustrated by Iceland in their Euro 2019 qualifier

Playing with the wind at their backs for the second half, the hosts resumed with a renewed determination to create a goal.

Shayne Lavery could not get on the end of a cross from Burns before Whyte forced a diving save after a good turn and shot from the edge of the area.

Defender Ryan Johnson's shot was hacked off the line before Lavery's header flashed narrowly wide.

In spite of their dominance, Northern Ireland nearly fell behind in the 65th minute when Ottar Magnus Karlsson and Gudmundsson teed up Haraldsson but his shot somehow failed to hit the target.

Both teams visibly tired during the closing stages but Kennedy forced another excellent save after a turn and shot before debutant keeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell was called on in stoppage time to deny Gudmundsson what would have been a dramatic, and undeserved, winner.

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Monday 26th March 2018

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Greece U2165101921716
2Croatia U2164111751213
3Belarus U21631286210
4Czech Rep U215311109110
5Moldova U216105516-113
6San Marino U217007122-210

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Spain U2155001651115
2Northern Ireland U2173221110111
3Slovakia U216303814-69
4Iceland U2162227618
5Albania U21613267-16
6Estonia U216015612-61

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Denmark U2154012051512
2Poland U215320136711
3Georgia U216213713-67
4Finland U215131811-36
5Faroe Islands U216123611-55
6Lithuania U215104311-83

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1England U215410102813
2Ukraine U21522110468
3Scotland U2162227708
4Netherlands U21522113498
5Latvia U216033210-83
6Andorra U215023116-152

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Germany U2165012361715
2R. of Ireland U21531193610
3Kosovo U21731388010
4Norway U21622278-18
5Israel U216213913-47
6Azerbaijan U216015321-181

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Belgium U217520135817
2Sweden U215320134911
3Hungary U216321106411
4Cyprus U217205717-106
5Turkey U21612337-45
6Malta U215005310-70

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Serbia U2166001931618
2Russia U216411127513
3Austria U21530213499
4Armenia U217214511-67
5Gibraltar U217106120-193
6Macedonia U215104611-53

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Romania U21633093612
2Bosnia and Herzegovina U2164021551012
3Portugal U215311135810
4Wales U21621368-27
5Switzerland U21621358-37
6Liechtenstein U215005120-190

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1France U2166001851318
2Slovenia U215311106410
3Kazakhstan U216132811-36
4Bulgaria U21512268-25
5Montenegro U216114712-54
6Luxembourg U216114613-74
View full Euro U21 Qualifying tables

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