Sports

Opening game defeat for NI in Regions Cup

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Opening game defeat for NI in Regions Cup thumbnailThe Northern Ireland Western Region squad who lost 2-0 in their opening UEFA Regions Cup game against Turkey's Istanbul Region in Moldova on Monday.

NORTHERN Ireland suffered a 2-0 loss in their opening game in the UEAFA Regions Cup qualifier against Turkey at the District Sport Complex in Orhei, Moldova, on Monday afternoon.

Northern Ireland
(Western region) ...0
Turkey (Istanbul) ..2

The Western Region were lead out by Dergview's Colin Robinson, with Darragh Park team mates Kyle Curan-Friel and Blaine Burns also taking to the field. Strabane midfield duo Conal Crawford and Kyle Harte also started the game, while Beragh Swifts' Stephen Browne and Ardstraw's Lee Warnock featured from off the bench. Dylan Forbes (Strabane Athletic) and Richard Lynch (Dergview) were unused substitutes.

In a shaky start, Harry McConkey's men were unsure at the back, and they soon fell behind early on. In the eighth minute, Northern Ireland failed to clear their lines convincingly, and the ball was swung in from the edge of the box by Can where an unmarked Serkan Uysal glanced a looping over the head of Limavady United goalkeeper, Paul Wells

On 16 minutes, a long range effort from the Turkish winger Aslanalp almost caught out Wells again, only to loft the ball onto the top of the netting. Turkey went even closer again as a drilled free kick from the edge of the box from Oguzhan Civelek flashed past the post.

The men from Istanbul got their second goal came just after the half hour mark, via another defensive mix-up. From a speculative ball towards the Northern Ireland box, skipper Robinson's clearance struck his defensive partner Hugh Carlin, allowing Semih Kamil Akgoz to steal in and finish past Wells.

Northern Ireland created some openings, but couldn't muster an attempt on goal. The best chance came after the break in the 53nd minute when a fine ball from Curran-Friel found Gareth Brown in space on the right hand side, but he skewed his attempted lob over the bar.

At the other end, Uysal had a glorious chance to score his side's third, but the striker's free header from six yards failed to hit the target. Moments later. A dangerous cross from Erceylan

Ceyhan flashed across the NI goal before being hacked away from danger.

In the group's other game, Switzerland's Geneva region defeated Moldova Soroca 1-0. Northern Ireland will play the Swiss today (Wednesday) before taking on the hosts Moldova on Friday.

Northern Ireland Western Region starting team: 1. Paul Wells (Limavady United), 2. Ryan Morrow (Institute), 4. Hugh Carlin (Limavady United), 5. Colin Robinson (Dergview), 3. Stephen McQuillan (Moyola FC), 7. Kyle Harte (Strabane Athletic), 6. Blaine Burns (Dergview), 8. Conal Crawford (Strabane Athletic), 18. 18. Gareth Browne (Institute), 11. Steven Wallace (Newbuildings United), 9. Kyle Friel Curran (Dergview)

Subs: 12. Kealan Mulcahy (Dergview), 10. Benny McFadden (Limavady United), 13. Stephen Browne (Beragh Swifts), 14. Bryan McClelland (Limavady), 15. Lee Warnock (Ardstraw), 16. Dylan Forbes (Strabane Athletic), 17. Richard Lynch (Dergview).

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