Northern Ireland thrilled by famous first

As Northern Ireland qualify for their first UEFA European Championship, UEFA.com rounds up the best of the reaction and the statistics from their campaign.

Northern Ireland celebrate qualification for UEFA EURO 2016
Northern Ireland celebrate qualification for UEFA EURO 2016 ©Getty Images

Northern Ireland have joined Iceland in qualifying for their first UEFA European Championship, Thursday night's 3-1 home success against Greece securing progress from Group F with a match to spare.

Michael O'Neill's side opened their campaign with victory in Hungary and confirmed their credentials with wins against the Faroe Islands and Greece which left them top of the section. A 2-0 reverse in Romania briefly halted their progress, but the Northern Irish got back on track by beating Finland in Belfast. 

Home draws with Romania and Hungary, either side of victory in the Faroes, meant two points from their last two qualifiers would be enough for a place at UEFA EURO 2016, and a double from captain Steven Davis against Greece ensured the celebrations could begin in earnest.

Reaction
Michael O'Neill, Northern Ireland manager
The players were outstanding. Right through the team, magnificent. It's a privilege to be here, I'm proud to stand here as their manager.

How have we done it? I'm not really sure! The players deserve the ultimate credit. We have confidence and belief which comes from winning games. This shows the potential of this team and of football in Northern Ireland.

Steven Davis, Northern Ireland captain
An unbelievable night. We showed what we were all about – we couldn't have asked for it to go any better.

Josh Magennis, Northern Ireland striker
I honestly can't put it into words. The goal came off my shoulder but I don't care! We have been working on set pieces all week, they are a big part of how we play.

We may not have the best quality but we never give up. Once you have that fight, you can be a formidable team.

Northern Ireland's best moments
Northern Ireland's best moments

Key stats
Best result: have never qualified
Coach: Michael O'Neill
Leading scorers: all-time – David Healy (36); current – Kyle Lafferty (16)
Most appearances: all-time – Pat Jennings (119); current – Aaron Hughes (96)

Record EURO appearances
Overall: Aaron Hughes (32)
Final tournament: none

Record EURO goals
Overall: David Healy (13)
Final tournament: none

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