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Page last updated at 19:37 GMT, Tuesday, 11 August 2009 20:37 UK

Portugal U21 2-1 N Ireland U21

Northern Ireland U21 manager Steve Beaglehole
Steve Beaglehole' side begin their European qualifying campaign in September

Northern Ireland's Under-21 side lost 2-1 to Portugal U21s in a friendly international game on Tuesday night.

After a scoreless first half, Fabio Coentrao put the Portuguese in front in the 57th minute and Yazalde added the second six minutes later.

Steve Beaglehole's side pulled back a consolation goal courtesy of a Shane Duffy penalty in the 74th minute.

Northern Ireland finished the game with 10 men when Blackburn defender Johnny Flynn was sent off.

The NI U21s next face the Czech Republic in a European Championship qualifying game on Friday 4 September.

Duffy coolly slotted home his spot-kick after James Lawrie was sent tumbling to the floor.

"It was a warm night, which did not help us, and we had to cope with a partisan crowd," said assistant manager Alfie Wylie after the game.

"But I thought we knuckled down to the task in hand and played some nice football against a strong Portuguese side.

"It was a good workout and I'm sure the experience will help us when we come to play the Czechs," he added.

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see also
Milk Cup stars named in U21 squad
07 Aug 09 |  Irish

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