Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland flops heading to Chile

Irish FA chiefs are confident of securing an end of season friendly in earthquake-hit Chile next week.

The World Cup-bound Chileans have invited Northern Ireland, who were pathetic in their 1-0 defeat to Albania in Tirana last night, to play a game in their capital Santiago at the end of May.

The match would be part of a two-game tour, with Turkey expected to be confirmed as opposition for a match in the United States prior to the game in south America. Chile are keen to arrange a match ahead of their assault on the World Cup finals.

Irish FA President Raymond Kennedy has formed a relationship with his Chilean counterpart due to Chile’s participation at the Milk Cup.

A line of communication broke down this week due to the terrible earthquake near Concepcion which is 270 miles south of Santiago, but the wheels are in motion and Kennedy believes the fixture will be announced next week.

Northern Ireland boss Nigel Worthington anticipates he will be without senior key players for the games, just as he was last night for what proved to be a shocking performance from the visitors.

“There may be a tour in May with a couple of games,” said Worthington today.

“If that comes off it will be good. We will be going with a very young squad as the older ones will need time off to recuperate and be with their families. It is not a problem to go with the young group because you find out things about your youngsters.”

Worthington’s findings from last night were limited in an abject display, lacking class and character, which does not bode well for the European Championship qualifiers later this year.

Belfast Telegraph

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