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Smyth's NI U21s earn qualification point

PAUL Smyth played 75 minutes for Northern Ireland’s Under-21 side as they drew 1-1 with Albania on Friday evening.

The QPR Under-23s striker helped the Irish earn a point in their UEFA 2019 European Under-21 qualifier.

Smyth was replaced 15 minutes from time by Shayne Lavery with the score still locked at 0-0.

However, hosts Albania took the lead seven minutes from the end when Ylber Ramadani put them in front at the Selman Stermazi stadium before substitute Lavery struck in the 89th minute to earn a draw.

Smyth’s teammate Chris Paul was an unused substitute whilst Charlie Owens was not in the matchday squad.

The result was enough to keep Northern Ireland top of Group 2 after five matches.