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Spanish just too hot for Northern Ireland Under-17s

Under-17 International: Northern Ireland 0 Spain 4

By Adam McKendry

Northern Ireland's Under-17s got their European Championship qualifying campaign off to a disappointing start with a 4-0 defeat to Spain at Mourneview Park.

The Spaniards led 2-0 at the break before adding another two goals after the interval for a resounding opening victory.

Stephen Frail's side were always going to be the underdogs against a team littered with under-age stars from the likes of Spanish giants Real Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia.

Diego Valera Pampin opened the scoring in just the fourth minute when he nodded in a header, before turning provider for Abel Ruiz who slid home the winger's cross.

It was a comfortable win for the visitors who rounded it off through a goal from Sergio Gomez Martin before Northern Ireland defender Adam McAleenan put through his own net late on.

The tough games keep coming for Frail's side as they welcome Slovakia to Seaview on Wednesday (7.30pm) before hosting San Marino back at Mourneview Park on Saturday (3pm) needing two wins to guarantee qualification for the next round.

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