International Round-Up: George Saville captains his country while Aidomo Emakhu scores again for Ireland’s Under-21s

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GEORGE Saville captained Northern Ireland for the first time as he won his 50th cap on Friday night – but they fell to a 4-0 loss to Finland. 

NI were playing for pride alone after failing to stay alive in the fight for a European Championship 2024 qualifying position.

But they would suffer a heavy defeat at the Helsinki Olympic Stadium on Saville’s milestone night.

George Saville captained his country for the first time on Friday night. Image: Millwall FC

There was disappointment too for Tom Bradshaw’s Wales.

The Millwall striker did not make it off the bench for the must-win game away in Armenia as the Welsh drew 1-1.

Wales needed to win that game to keep qualification in their own hands but the defeat has left their qualification chances in peril, especially with rivals Croatia winning later on Saturday 0-2 at Latvia.

Croatia now lead Wales by two points and Rob Page’s side will need to beat group leaders Turkey and hope Armenia stop Croatia from winning.

There was better news elsewhere as Aidomo Emakhu scored for Republic of Ireland’s Under-21s but saw his side fall to a 3-2 defeat away at Norway in a Euro Under-21 qualifier.

After Ireland fell behind, Emakhu hounded Odin Holm and won the ball back, found Sinclair Armstrong but his shot was blocked. But the ball fell perfectly to the Millwall youngster to steer home from close range.

Sinclair would then score to give Ireland a 2-1 lead before Norway roared back in the final 17 minutes to win 3-2.

Meanwhile, Romain Esse and England’s Under-19s have won both of their friendly games in Marbella so far.

It started with a 6-0 route of Romania’s under-19s with Esse coming off the bench during the comfortable victory.

The 18-year-old would then start the 3-2 win against Japan, winning a penalty at 0-0 that was dispatched by Manchester City’s Jacob Wright to get England on their way.

And finally England’s Under-21s won 0-3 in Serbia to keep their Euro Under-21 qualifying dreams on track.

Brooke Norton-Cuffy was left on the bench as James McAtee scored twice in the opening 20 minutes before Harvey Elliot struck in the second half.


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