Northern Ireland U21s: Ross Larkin and David Parkhouse score in comfortable win over Malta
Northern Ireland Under-21s collected their first win of Euro 2021 qualifying with a 2-0 victory away to Malta.
Debutant Ross Larkin opened the scoring on 57 minutes after reacting quickest when Eoin Toal hit the post from close range at the Centenary Stadium.
David Parkhouse, who missed a penalty late in the first half for the visitors, netted a second 10 minutes later to secure the win.
The victory moves Andy Crosby’s side into fourth position in Group Eight.
There were few clear-cut chances in the first half, with Myles Beerman and Alexander Satariano forcing NI keeper Conor Hazard into saves while Parkhouse tested Timothy Aquilina at the other end.
Parkhouse’s penalty was saved by home goalkeeper Aquilina on the stroke of half-time after Beerman fouled Linfield defender Larkin in the area.
Northern Ireland came firing out of the traps in the second half, with Ali McCann heading over when well placed in the area before Larkin netted after pouncing on the loose ball when Toal’s strike came back off the upright.
Parkhouse made it two after some excellent work by McCann, who had jinked into the area before unleashing a shot which Anquilina could only parry to the feet of the Sheffield United striker, who tucked the rebound away.
NI, led by interim boss Crosby after Ian Baraclough’s promotion to the senior job, sit fourth in Group C after six games, two points ahead of Ukraine, who have a game in hand, but seven points adrift of Romania in second.