Northern Ireland Under-21’s lose to Macedonia in Skopje

Jim Magilton
Jim Magilton

Northern Ireland’s miserable Under-21 European Championship qualifying campaign continued on Tuesday night with a 2-0 loss to FYR Macedonia in Skopje.

Josh Doherty’s 37th-minute own goal and a late strike from Kire Markoski were enough to condemn Jim Magilton’s side to their seventh defeat in eight outings.

The unlucky Doherty was helpless when Daniel Avramovski turned a cross into the box and it hit the Northern Ireland man to beat goalkeeper Conor Mitchell as heavy rain fell.

The goal came moments after Shayne Lavery was unfortunate not to score the opener with a close-range effort which was well saved by Igor Aleksovski.

However, Macedonia remained on top and wrapped up the victory five minutes from time when Markoski drove into the box and fired beyond Mitchell.

Northern Ireland conclude the campaign with a trip to Ukraine and a home meeting with France next month.