Fleetwood Town duo Jack Doherty and Conor Haughey both featured for their national side in the Under-17s UEFA Qualifiers in Italy, and helped them earn a point against the hosts in a memorable result at the Stadio Valentino Mazzola.
Northern Ireland's Under-17s travelled to Italy last week for their UEFA Championship Qualifying Rounds, and played three games in the space of a week, starting off with a clash against Greece, then a match against the hosts and then a game against San Marino.
On Wednesday, the young Northern Ireland lads played against Greece but lost out 2-0 to the 2004 European Championships winners with their clinical nature in front of goal.
Sulanjaku and Mythou's second-half goals were the difference, but it was a result that brought the group closer together with the result they picked up on Saturday afternoon. Conor Haughey played the full 90 minutes in the heart of the defense, with Jack being rested for the Italy game.
Three days later, it was a match against Italy which saw Doherty come into the starting XI and Haughey dropping to the bench.
The Under-17s delivered a brilliant display against hosts Italy to claim a memorable point in the Euro Qualifiers in Santarcangelo di Romagna. Doherty played the whole match after their head coach made seven changes.
Northern Ireland had chances to take all three points, but Italy had Giorgio Vezzosi to thank for keeping the score level after 90 minutes. Haughey came on with six minutes of normal time left for Alfie Friars to help sure up the backline with the point still on the line for the visitors.
On Tuesday afternoon, the lads won against San Marino, with Haughey getting on the scoresheet in their 4-0 win. Despite getting the win, it wasn't enough to guarantee a place in next spring’s elite qualifying round for the Under-17s Euro 2024.
Greece defeated Italy 2-1 today to top the table with maximum points, however, Italy finished runners-up ahead of Northern Ireland on goal difference – by a single goal.
Northern Ireland could still qualify for the elite round as one of the five third-placed teams with the best records against the top two in their section, however, they will have to wait until more qualifying round tournaments are completed next month to see if they make the cut or not.
The duo have now travelled back to the UK and will link up with the Under-18s once again.