Northern Ireland U21s: Tommy Wright's side edged out by Ukraine in U21 Euro 2025 qualifier

Northern Ireland U21s went down to second successive defeat in their U21 Euro 2025 qualifying campaign as they were edged out 1-0 by Ukraine in Slovakia.

Tommy Wright's side were beaten 1-0 by Luxembourg in their opening qualifier on Thursday at Mourneview Park.

A goal from Vitaliy Roman on 70 minutes sealed victory for Ukraine.

Northern Ireland will now focus on their October double-header away to Azerbaijan and at home to Serbia.

Wright made three changes to the team who were defeated by Luxembourg with Sean Stewart, Tommy Fogarty and Jamie McDonnell coming into the side in place of Darren Robinson, Michael Glynn and Chris McKee.

Goalkeeper Stephen McMullan was forced into action on 20 minutes, beating away a fierce strike from Maksym Bragaru.

Callum Marshall then twice went close for Northern Ireland, with Roman clearing his effort off the line after he capitalised on a mistake from goalkeeper Ruslan Nescheret.

The West Ham striker then drew a save from Nescheret in the closing stages of the first half.

Wright's side continued to keep the goalkeeper busy in the second period as he twice thwarted Ciaran McGuckin.

The first was an effort from outside the area, with the second a low drive after a good run down the left from the striker.

A number of Ukrainian substitutes helped to swing the game in their favour and clinch all three points in their first game of the campaign.

Ilya Kvasnytsia and Ihor Krasnoper interchanged passes before finding Roman, who beat McMullan with a well-taken strike from the edge of the box.