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Saturday, October 9, 1999 Published at 20:22 GMT 21:22 UK

Sport: Football

McMenemy ends depressing campaign

Finland 4-1 Northern Ireland

Two goals from Joonas Kolkka helped Finland to a deserved 4-1 victory over Northern Ireland .

The two teams had already been eliminated from Euro 2000, and the result showed the work faced by Lawrie McMenemy if his team are ever to make an impact in world football.

PSV Eindhoven forward Kolkka secured victory for the home side with goals in the 73rd and 83rd minutes.

Rangers striker Jonatan Johansson had given then a lead in the ninth minute although Manchester City's Jeff Whitley equalised for the visitors just before the hour.

[ image: Frustration for the manager as another game is lost heavily]
Frustration for the manager as another game is lost heavily
Liverpool defender Sami Hyypia restored the lead four minutes later before Kolkka tidied things up for the Finns, who finished third in the group behind Germany and Turkey.

Whitley was one of the few Northern Irish players to emerge with credit from the last episode in a depressing story for the national team.

The youngster was outstanding on his full debut, shackling Barcelona's danger man Jari Litmanen, as well as scoring the goal.

But many familar deficiencies were exposed and the four goals McMenemy's conceded against the Finns mean they have shipped 19 in their eight qualifying games.

Whitley's strike was only the third they have scored, while Finland were the only team they beat - 12 months ago - on their way to a five-point haul.

Despite Northern Ireland's disappointing campaign, manager McMenemy has been offered a new contract and negotiations are expected to be concluded in the next few days.


Finland: Viander, Lehkosuo, Kuivasto, Hyypia, Tihinen, Wiss, Kolkka, Riihilahti, Litmanen, Paatelainen, Johansson. Subs: Laaksonen, Kautonen, Valakari, Yla-Jussila, Kottila, Nyyssonen, Penttila.

Northern Ireland: Taylor, Jenkins, Williams, Morrow, Nolan, McCarthy, J. Whitley, Lennon, Kennedy, Hughes, Quinn. Subs: Wright, J. Whitley, Hunter, Robinson, Johnson, Dowie, Coote.

Referee: A Ancion (Belgium)

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