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Northern Ireland on the cusp of ending Victory Shield drought against Wales

Northern Ireland will face Wales tomorrow in a winner-takes-all battle for the Victory Shield.

After a 0-0 stalemate with the Republic of Ireland in their opening game on Sunday, Northern Ireland moved to the top of the group with a 1-0 success over Scotland yesterday.

Jack Chambers of Linfield and Banbridge Academy scored the only goal early in the second-half.

The scenario is now exactly the same as last season, when Northern Ireland and Wales faced each other in the final game with the winner claiming the title.

Wales, who are hosting this year's new-look tournament in Newport, lost 2-1 to Scotland in their opening game, but shot themselves back into contention to win the trophy for the second year in succession when they beat the Republic of Ireland 2-1, with all the goals coming in the second-half.

A draw would give Scotland the chance to win the tournament if they beat the Republic of Ireland.

Northern Ireland haven't won the Victory Shield since 2000 - the country's only outright success in the competition.

Ironically, they beat Wales in the final game to win the trophy.

Current senior international captain Steven Davis was in that team.

NORTHERN IRELAND: Webber, Wallace, Maxwell, Kearney, Warnock, McEneff, Ferguson, Boyd, Chambers, Brown, McIlmail. Subs: McGinley for McEneff, O'Neill for McIlmail, Robinson for Brown.

RESULTS: Northern Ireland 1 Scotland 0, Wales 2 Republic of Ireland 1.

FIXTURES: Thursday: Republic of Ireland v Scotland (12noon), Northern Ireland v Wales (2pm).

Belfast Telegraph


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