Search icon


12th Sep 2018

Northern Ireland U21s triumph over Spain in shock victory

Northern Ireland pulled off a huge upset, beating one of the best U21 teams in the world tonight thanks to two early goals

Reuben Pinder

It should have been a routine win for Spain.

Northern Ireland’s under 21s shocked the football world tonight, pulling off a surprise victory over Spain at the Estadio Carlos Belmonte in Albacete.

Nobody would have given Northern Ireland a chance in this fixture, given some of the talent in Spain’s squad – their starting XI featured Valencia’s highly rated midfielder Carlos Soler, Real Madrid’s Borja Mayoral and Villarreal’s exciting number 10, Pablo Fornals.

But the hosts were not intimidated by Spain’s squad, as they took an early lead through Shayne Lavery in the fourth minute before doubling their advantage with a penalty from Liam Donnelly in the eighth minute.

They then held on to their lead, keeping the Spaniards until injury time, when Rafa Mir scored a consolation goal for the hosts.

Meanwhile, the Republic of Ireland’s U21 team lost 6-0 to Germany at Tallaght Stadium in Dublin.