Euro U21 Qualifying - Group 2
Spain U211Northern Ireland U212

Spain U21 1-2 Northern Ireland U21: Impressive visitors shock Spanish in qualifier

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'We will remember that for the rest of our lives'

Northern Ireland Under-21s secured a hugely impressive 2-1 victory over Spain in Tuesday's 2019 European Championships qualifier in Albacete.

A Shayne Lavery strike and Liam Donnelly penalty in the first eight minutes helped Ian Baraclough's men shock their hosts.

Visiting goalkeeper Conor Hazard saved a Borja Mayoral penalty in what was an outstanding display.

Sub Rafael Mir scored for Spain with a deflected strike on 92 minutes.

The win moves Northern Ireland up from fourth to third in Group Two.

The defeat is the first of the campaign for table-toppers Spain, who had already qualified for the finals before Tuesday night's encounter.

Everton striker Lavery gave Ian Baraclough's men the perfect start when he fired them into a fourth-minute lead in the Carlos Belmonte stadium.

Captain Donnelly doubled the margin four minutes later from the spot after Guerrero Martin had fouled Paul Smyth in the box.

The Motherwell defender gave home keeper Antonio Sivera no chance with his spot-kick on what was his record-breaking 22nd appearance for the Under-21s.

Both Lavery and Donnelly scored in Northern Ireland's 5-3 defeat in the reverse fixture at Shamrock Park in March.

Goalkeeper Conor Hazard came on as substitute in the second half against Costa Rica for his Northern Ireland debut
Hazard made his senior Northern Ireland debut against Costa Rica in the summer

It looked like Spain were going to equalise on the stroke of half-time when they were awarded a penalty for a Ryan Johnson foul on Mayoral.

The Spanish striker took the spot-kick himself but Hazard dived at full-stretch to make a terrific save.

The Celtic keeper continued to thwart the hosts in the second-half by producing a series of fantastic saves as the Spaniards pressed to get back in the game.

Northern Ireland will play fourth-placed Iceland away in October before concluding the qualifying campaign with a home match against Slovakia, who are one point ahead of Northern Ireland in second.

The four best-placed runners-up in the nine groups will qualify for a play-off for the Euros.

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Tuesday 11th September 2018

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Greece U2187102432122
2Croatia U2186112552019
3Czech Rep U2184131314-113
4Belarus U2183231012-211
5Moldova U219216822-147
6San Marino U219009125-240

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Spain U2187012381521
2Slovakia U2185031517-215
3Northern Ireland U2184221311214
4Iceland U2183231411311
5Albania U218134714-76
6Estonia U218017920-111

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Denmark U2186112671919
2Poland U2185301881018
3Finland U2182331217-59
4Georgia U218233915-69
5Faroe Islands U218134815-76
6Lithuania U218116314-114

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1England U2186201441020
2Ukraine U218422158714
3Scotland U218422128414
4Netherlands U218332156912
5Latvia U218035515-103
6Andorra U218026121-202

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Germany U2186112962319
2Norway U2184221310314
3R. of Ireland U2184221110114
4Kosovo U21933399012
5Israel U2182241117-68
6Azerbaijan U219027526-212

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Belgium U2197202051523
2Sweden U2196211951420
3Turkey U219423129314
4Hungary U2183231010011
5Cyprus U219207722-156
6Malta U218008522-170

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Serbia U2188002351824
2Austria U2186022251718
3Russia U218512189916
4Armenia U219225916-78
5Macedonia U2181161018-84
6Gibraltar U219108130-293

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Romania U218530134918
2Bosnia and Herzegovina U2196032271518
3Portugal U2185122091116
4Wales U218314811-310
5Switzerland U2193151015-510
6Liechtenstein U218008229-270

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1France U2199002351827
2Slovenia U2184221210214
3Kazakhstan U2192431213-110
4Bulgaria U2182339909
5Montenegro U218125714-75
6Luxembourg U218116618-124
View full Euro U21 Qualifying tables

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