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Last Updated: Friday, 1 September 2006, 20:27 GMT 21:27 UK
N Ireland U21 2-3 Germany U21
David Scullion of Northern Ireland Under-21s and Goonzalo Castro of Germany
David Scullion in action against Goonzalo Castro of Germany
Northern Ireland's hopes of qualifying for the European Under-21 finals were ended when they were beaten by Germany at Mourneview Park on Friday night.

Goals by Roberto Hilbert (13) and Patrick Helmes (35) put the dominant Germans 2-0 up at the break and Piotr Trochowski made it 3-0 on 65 minutes.

Dean Shiels pulled a goal back for the home side from a penalty on 69 minutes after Marvin Matip had handled.

Thomas Stewart hit Northern Ireland's second goal on 81 but Germany held on.

Northern Ireland found themselves under pressure from the first minute when Trochowski raced forward and rattled in a shot from 20 yards which goalkeeper Michael McGovern - captain on the night - did well to parry.

Hilbert then had a great chance for the Germans but his weak shot was saved by McGovern before visiting keeper Michael Rensing did well to push Daryl Smylie's close-range shot over the top at the other end.

Germany took the lead through Hilbert in the 13th minute after he pounced on a mistake by Jeff Hughes to score from an acute angle.

McGovern reacted smartly to turn away a free-kick from Trochowski four minutes later but the Germans did double their lead on 35 minutes when Helmes scored after good work from Hilbert.

Linfield striker Peter Thompson came close to pulling a goal back a minute after the break but his touch let him down.

Germany were not content to sit on their lead and they made it 3-0 in the 65th minute when Trochowski hammered in a spectacular 30-yard effort.

Northern Ireland finally had something to cheer about in the 69th minute when Shiels scored from the penalty spot after Matip had handled.

They got a further glimmer of hope in the 81st minute when substitute Stewart thumped a shot home but Germany had little difficulty holding on thereafter.


N Ireland U21: McGovern, Sean Ward, Hughes, Evans, McArdle, Smylie, Gilfillan, Clarke, Thompson, Shiels, Scullion. Subs: Tuffey, McCaffrey, Callaghan, Jamie Ward, Buchanan, Stewart, Turner.

Germany U21: Rensing, Reinhardt, Schonheim, Brzenska, Matip, Castro, Hilbert, Otti, Kiessling, Trochowski, Helmes. Subs: Tschauner, Bieler, Gonez, Kruska, Ochs, Polanski, Rafael.

Referee: B Rasmussen (Denmark)

SEE ALSO
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16 Aug 06 |  Internationals
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13 Aug 06 |  Internationals
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27 Jul 06 |  Internationals


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