Belfast Telegraph

Whyte lightning strike

Gavin’s dream debut in Israel rout as U21s shock Spain

By Graham Luney

Windsor Park wonder boy Gavin Whyte said he will never forget his dream debut for Northern Ireland after scoring  a quickfire goal with his first touch in the 3-0 victory over Israel last night.

The 22-year-old, who moved to Oxford United from Crusaders this summer, needed only one minute 46 seconds to open his account after replacing Jordan Jones in the 65th minute.

 Steven Davis’ powerful strike and Stuart Dallas’ fine volley secured a 2-0 lead at the break but Whyte grabbed the spotlight with his close range finish in a welcome victory after the Nations League loss to Bosnia and Herzegovina on Saturday.

“I couldn’t have dreamed of a better night,” said Whyte. “I was delighted to get on the pitch but to score with my first touch is something I will never forget. My family will be delighted and I’ve got a taste for it now. My mum Patricia was travelling on her holiday but I must show her the highlights.”

 It rounded off a perfect night for Northern Ireland after the Under-21 side rocked Spain 2-1 in a Euro 2019 qualifier.

Liam Donnelly and Shayne Lavery scored the goals in Albacete to put Ian Baraclough’s side in a great position to secure a play-off spot to reach the finals.

“I honestly can’t believe it. It’s the sort of night I will tell my kids and grandchildren about in years to come,” said goal scorer Donnelly.

Belfast Telegraph

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