An 86th-minute Artur Petrosyan goal gave Armenia a 1-0 win against Northern Ireland in their Group 6 qualifier in Yerevan.
The BSC Young Boys midfield player's run caught the Northern Ireland defence off-guard as he skipped past several defenders before beating goalkeeper Maik Taylor to score his tenth goal for Armenia and give them the first win of their UEFA EURO 2004™ qualifying campaign.
Twin brothers Arman and Artavazd Karamyan provided a constant threat for Armenia but the home side could not take full advantage of their good work. Arman Karamyan wasted two good chances, the easiest of which being an effort which he blasted wide of Taylor's post from a great position barely seven metres from goal.
McVeigh goes close
Northern Ireland had their share of chances in front of Roman Berezovsky's goal, but David Healy headed wide twice from close range and Paul McVeigh was unlucky not to give the visitors the lead when he rattled Berezovsky's crossbar with a fine shot. They have now failed to score in their last seven matches.
Armenia coach Mihai Stoichita, who only took charge of the side last week, was pleased with his side's performance, saying: "I am very happy about this hard-fought victory. However, I would not say it was a surprise. I did take certain risks when picking the squad, but, as the game proved, I was right."
Stoichita refused to single out any individual players, as he aimed to build his side's confidence ahead of their next qualifying game against Spain. "I don't want to praise any of the players individually," he said. "The team has won this game - the whole of Armenia has won. Now we need to get ready for Spain."
Opposite number Sammy McIlroy was in realistic mood after the match. He said: "It's going to be very hard to qualify now. I really thought this would have been the day when we would have ended our drought. It is a bitter pill to swallow. We didn't take our chances and perhaps we should have been 3-0 up."