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International round-up

7 September 2013

MK Dons defender Lee Hodson played 90 minutes for Northern Ireland last night in their FIFA World Cup 2014 qualifying defeat to Portugal.

Michael O’Neill’s side fought back from a goal down to lead a ten-man Portugal 2-1 at one stage but, after having two men sent off themselves and a 16-minute hat-trick from Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo, the Northern Irish lost 4-2.

Due to several injuries at the back for Northern Ireland, Hodson was handed the unenviable task of dealing with Ronaldo but the 21-year-old did a commendable job in keeping the former Ballon d’Or winner quiet down the left-hand flank on his eighth international appearance. Two of Ronaldo’s three strikes came from the right with his hat-trick a direct finish from a set-piece.

Next up for Hodson and Northern Ireland is a trip to bottom of the table Luxembourg on Tuesday night, where they will hope to pick up their second win of the campaign.

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