Tuesday 20 March 2018

Spain roll over North

SPAIN 4 N IRELAND 1 IMPRESSIVE Spain ended Northern Ireland manager Lawrie McMenemy's honeymoon in spectacular fashion when they blitzed his side 4-1 in Santander last night.

McMenemy had won his first two matches in charge, but the Irish were ripped apart by Javier Clemente's side, who demonstrated just why they are one of the fancied teams to win the World Cup.

Juan Antonio Pizzi scored two first-half goals before he was replaced at the interval by Fernando Morientes, who proceeded to do the same in the second.

Morientes' two goals took his tally to four in only 90 minutes of international football and yet he is still not guaranteed a starting place in France.

Gerry Taggart briefly gave the Irish the slightest glimmer of hope when he netted to pull the score back to 2-1, but there was no stopping the Spanish juggernaut as it rolls on towards France.

``The game confirmed some of the inner suspicions that I had.'' said McMenemy. ``We were asking lads from the lower divisions and youngsters playing reserve football to play against people from Real Madrid and Barcelona.''

SPAIN Canizares, Ferrer, Sergi, Abelardo, Ivan Campo, Celades, Amor, Etxeberria, Guerrero, Pizzi, Raul. Subs: Aguilera, Molina, Aranzabal, Aljorta, Hierro, Morientes, Luis Enrique, Kiko, Alfonso, Nadal.

NORTHERN IRELAND Fettis, Jenkins, A. Hughes, Jim Whitley, Taggart, Morrow, McCarthy, Lennon, Dowie, M. Hughes, Magilton. Subs: Jeff Whitley, Taylor, Mulryne, Hill, O'Boyle, Quinn, Patterson.

REFEREE G Veissiere (France)

* WALES defeated Malta 3-0 in a friendly last night. The goals came from Craig Bellamy, John Hartson and Mark Pembridge.

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