Northern Ireland WU16s beaten by Belgium in Belfast tournament

Northern ireland v Belgium, WU16 UEFA Development Tournament.
Northern Ireland v Belgium during the WU16 UEFA Development Tournament. (Photo: Ephy McConnell)

Northern Ireland lost their opening game in a four-team UEFA WU16 development tournament in Belfast 4-2 to Belgium.

The 20-strong Northern Ireland squad was selected by Irish FA Girls’ Elite Youth Academy manager Danielle McDowell-Tuffey and is being led during the tournament by head coach Julie Nelson and assistant coach Clare Carson.

Belgium opened the scoring after just six minutes when a cross from the flank was volleyed past Northern Ireland keeper Abbie Smith.

Lucy Kelly’s strike was tipped onto the crossbar and Jessica McGuinness’s resulting corner was turned in by Sophie Hutchinson.

Belgium struck twice for a 3-1 interval lead, then just after the restart Northern Ireland pulled a goal back with an excellent strike by Kelly.

They pushed for an equaliser only for Belgium to restore the two-goal advantage on 56 minutes.

Next up for Northern Ireland is Spain at Seaview tomorrow (Tuesday 12 March) at 11am. Spain defeated Iceland 2-1 in their first game, Avril Serrano and Carlota Chacon, while Fanney Lisa Johannesdottir netted for Iceland.

WU16 UEFA Development Tournament
Iceland v Spain during the WU16 UEFA Development Tournament in Belfast. (Bob Hall Sports Photography)

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