Slovenia dominated large spells of this UEFA EURO 2012 Group C encounter but failed to find a goal in a Windsor Park stalemate that will have pleased neither side particularly.
Slovenia, looking to close the gap on leaders Italy to three points, created numerous chances through Valter Birsa and Milivoje Novakovič but were unable to make the breakthrough and were nearly made to rue their missed opportunities when Chris Brunt came close to converting Corry Evans' cross shortly before the end.
Matjaž Kek’s side, beaten at home by Italy last Friday, made an assured start and had the first notable attempt but, fortunately for Northern Ireland, Marko Šuler's dipping volley was straight at Lee Camp. Slovenia continued to press and were almost gifted a goal when Samuel Clingan gave the ball away in midfield but Birsa's fiercely struck drive was tipped over by the impressive Camp.
With the visitors dominating possession, Northern Ireland came closest in the first half via Clingan's free-kick which curled narrowly over the bar with Samir Handanovič rooted to the spot. Slovenia came out firing after the break and should have taken the lead when substitute Zlatan Ljubijankič delivered a dangerous ball across goal only for Novakovič to fire over from close range.
Nigel Worthington's side continued to look vulnerable at the back without the experienced Aaron Hughes and were relieved when Šuler's header only found the side netting. That said, the Irish, winless in the section since shocking Slovenia in Maribor in September, came close to a repeat late on as Brunt's inswinging free-kick was met by the head of Gareth McAuley but Matej Mavrič was on hand to clear off the line.
Brunt's outstretched boot was then just centimetres away from tapping in Evans' volleyed cross, although it could have gone the other way too; three minutes from time Zlatko Dedič had a golden chance as he raced through one-on-one, but Camp saved superbly to earn his side a valuable point.