Euro Under-21 Qualifying - Group 8
Northern Ireland U21Northern Ireland U212Finland U21Finland U213

Northern Ireland U21 2-3 Finland U21: O'Neill double not enough for hosts

Striker Paul O'Neill
Glentoran forward Paul O'Neill scored goals in both halves for Northern Ireland

A Paul O'Neill double proved insufficient for Northern Ireland Under-21s to avoid defeat in their European Championship qualifier as they lost 3-2 to Finland on Friday evening.

O'Neill put his side in front from close range in the 28th minute but Timo Stavitski levelled before the interval.

A second for O'Neill restored NI's lead Mikael Soisalo and Nattan Skytta secured victory for the visitors.

It was a fourth defeat of the campaign for NI, who host Ukraine on Tuesday.

Northern Ireland now stand four points adrift of Finland and Ukraine as they occupy fifth position in Group Eight with just one win from eight matches - away to Malta last month.

The NI U21s boast six points, with only Malta below them in the group table.

Northern Ireland U21s lose to Finland in Euro qualifier

Finland began the game at Ballymena Showgrounds brightly with Marcus Forss hitting the post from Soisalo's delivery.

But midway through the first half the home side were in front, when Nathan Kerr crossed from the right and Glentoran forward O'Neill poked the ball home at the near post as goalkeeper Hugo Keto got a touch but was unable to keep the ball out.

A minute before the break, Eoin Toal failed to deal with a long ball and Stavitski picked up possession before dispatching a clinical low drive past Conor Hazard.

Just before the hour mark, Daniel Amos crossed from the left and O'Neill provided the flick past Keto which put his side ahead again.

Two minutes later, the Finns were on level terms for a second time as substitute Bobby Burns was unable to control a Jasin Assehnoun crossfield pass and Soisalo finished with a low drive.

The winner came in the 68th minute when Soisalo crossed and 18-year-old sub Skytta slid the ball home - a quality finish from the teenager.

Jake Dunwoody
Derry City's Jake Dunwoody put in an impressive display for NI U21s


Northern Ireland U21

Formation 5-4-1

  • 1Hazard
  • 7Kerr
  • 2Marron
  • 5Toal
  • 15Brown
  • 3AmosSubstituted forBurnsat 61'minutes
  • 18McKiernanBooked at 21minsSubstituted forBonisat 45'minutes
  • 8McCalmontBooked at 58minsSubstituted forScottat 79'minutes
  • 11Boyd-Munce
  • 16Dunwoody
  • 10O'Neill


  • 4Larkin
  • 6Donnelly
  • 12Gartside
  • 13Burns
  • 14Scott
  • 17Balmer
  • 19Bonis
  • 20Scott
  • 21Bansal-McNulty

Finland U21

Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 12Keto
  • 19MaenpaaSubstituted forHyvärinenat 75'minutes
  • 14Tihi
  • 15Vainionpää
  • 3Haukioja
  • 16Lingman
  • 7SoisaloBooked at 21mins
  • 11Simonpoika Valakari
  • 18AssehnounSubstituted forAlmenat 90+3'minutes
  • 17StavitskiSubstituted forSkyttaat 45'minutes
  • 10ForssSubstituted forKällmanat 83'minutes


  • 1Jaaskelainen
  • 4Almen
  • 5Hyvärinen
  • 6Hakkinen
  • 9Källman
  • 13Banza
  • 20Skytta
  • 21Maenpaa
  • 22Atakayi

Match Stats

Home TeamNorthern Ireland U21Away TeamFinland U21
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Northern Ireland U21 2, Finland U21 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Northern Ireland U21 2, Finland U21 3.

  3. Post update

    Onni Johannes Simonpoika Valakari (Finland U21) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Paul O'Neill (Northern Ireland U21).

  5. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Lucas Lingman (Finland U21) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Benjamin Källman.

  6. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Benjamin Källman (Finland U21) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Mikael Almen.

  7. Substitution

    Substitution, Finland U21. Mikael Almen replaces Jasin-Amin Assehnoun.

  8. Post update

    Jasin-Amin Assehnoun (Finland U21) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Eoin Toal (Northern Ireland U21).

  10. Post update

    Juho Hyvärinen (Finland U21) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Andrew Scott (Northern Ireland U21).

  12. Post update

    Offside, Finland U21. Martti Haukioja tries a through ball, but Benjamin Källman is caught offside.

  13. Post update

    Attempt saved. Caolan Boyd-Munce (Northern Ireland U21) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Lee Bonis.

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Lee Bonis (Northern Ireland U21) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Caolan Boyd-Munce with a cross.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Finland U21. Benjamin Källman replaces Marcus Forss.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Northern Ireland U21. Andrew Scott replaces Alfie McCalmont.

  17. Post update

    Onni Johannes Simonpoika Valakari (Finland U21) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Paul O'Neill (Northern Ireland U21).

  19. Post update

    Naatan Skytta (Finland U21) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Ciaron Brown (Northern Ireland U21).

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Friday 9th October 2020

As It Stood


1R. of Ireland U217511123916
2Italy U2164111531213
3Sweden U217403178912
4Iceland U216402119212
5Armenia U217106417-133
6Luxembourg U217106221-193


1Switzerland U2177002041621
2France U2176012391418
3Slovakia U2173041518-39
4Georgia U218305141319
5Azerbaijan U218206515-106
6Liechtenstein U217106321-183


1England U2176102471719
2Austria U2185031813515
3Albania U2183231516-111
4Turkey U217214814-67
5Kosovo U217205816-86
6Andorra U217124916-75


1Czech Rep U2184311741315
2Scotland U21742172514
3Croatia U2174122752213
4Greece U21741298113
5Lithuania U21721467-17
6San Marino U218008040-400


1Football Union of Russia U2196211831520
2Poland U218512156916
3Bulgaria U218422104614
4Serbia U219324129311
5Estonia U218116331-284
6Latvia U218044510-54


1Spain U2176101211119
2North Macedonia U217412169713
3Israel U217322109111
4Kazakhstan U2183141015-510
5Montenegro U218215101007
6Faroe Islands U217106721-143


1Netherlands U2177003333021
2Portugal U2165011971215
3Norway U2183141416-210
4Belarus U217223151328
5Cyprus U217214715-87
6Gibraltar U217007034-340


1Denmark U2187101871122
2Romania U2185121751216
3Ukraine U217313109110
4Finland U2183141213-110
5Northern Ireland U218134610-46
6Malta U217016221-191


1Belgium U2164111651113
2Germany U2164021991012
3Bosnia and Herzegovina U2162226428
4Wales U216204413-96
5Moldova U216114519-144
View full Euro Under-21 Qualifying tables

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