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Northern Ireland make history with Greece win

Published: Thursday 8 October 2015, 23.15CET
Northern Ireland 3-1 Greece
Steven Davis scored twice as Michael O'Neill's side qualified for their first UEFA European Championship with a historic Group F victory.

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Match statistics

Northern IrelandGreece

Goals scored3
 
1
Possession (%)37
 
63
Total attempts18
 
9
on target3
 
3
off target10
 
3
blocked5
 
3
against woodwork0
1
Corners9
 
3
Offsides0
2
Yellow cards0
 
0
Red Cards0
 
0
Fouls committed5
 
11
Fouls suffered10
 
5

Standings

SSI Err
Published: Thursday 8 October 2015, 23.15CET

Northern Ireland make history with Greece win

Northern Ireland 3-1 Greece
Steven Davis scored twice as Michael O'Neill's side qualified for their first UEFA European Championship with a historic Group F victory.

  • Northern Ireland qualify for first EURO with victory against Greece
  • Steven Davis scores 35th-minute opener to settle home nerves
  • Josh Magennis header makes it 2-0 shortly after interval
  • Davis gets his second; Christos Aravidis nets late consolation for winless Greece
  • Final games: Finland v Northern Ireland, Greece v Hungary (Sunday)

Northern Ireland reached the UEFA European Championship finals for the first time with victory against Greece, Steven Davis scoring twice on a historic night at Windsor Park.

Michael O'Neill's side needed two points from their last two Group F games to secure progress, and took a significant stride towards that target when captain Davis finished off a slick move ten minutes before half-time.

Josh Magennis headed a second early in the second period, before Davis's second and the Northern Irish third ensured the celebrations could begin in earnest despite Christos Aravidis's late consolation for the 2004 champions.

The hosts, buoyed by a raucous Belfast crowd, almost took the lead after 25 minutes when Stuart Dallas skipped inside José Holebas on the left and sent a low cross to Magennis. The Kilmarnock striker, a goalkeeper until switching positions in 2008, tried to curl his close-range effort past Orestis Karnezis but was denied by the outstretched leg of Vangelis Moras.

©Getty Images

Steven Davis celebrates

The expectant home supporters only had a few minutes to wait for the breakthrough, however. Corry Evans supplied an incisive through ball to Dallas who had time and space to set up Davis for a simple close-range finish.

Kostas Mitroglou offered a timely reminder that there was still work to be done when, seconds before the interval, his shot came back off the far post. So Magennis's strike four minutes after the restart soothed Northern Irish nerves, his header from Oliver Norwood's corner looping over Aravidis on the line.

Victory was wrapped up just before the hour as Chris Brunt's corner was headed clear by Andreas Samaris only as far as the lurking Davis, who nodded past Karnezis from the edge of the area.

Greece, still without a Group F win, will finish bottom but at least had the last word three minutes from time as Vasilis Torosidis benefited from Brunt's failed attempt to clear, crossing for Aravidis to slide past Michael McGovern. It mattered little to the home team, however, who need a point from their final fixture to clinch the section.

Last updated: 06/06/16 12.09CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuro/season=2016/matches/round=2000446/match=2014026/postmatch/report/index.html#northern+irish+make+history

Lineups

Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland

Greece

Greece

1
McGovernMichael McGovern (GK)
1
KarnezisOrestis Karnezis (GK)
4
McAuleyGareth McAuley
5
MorasVangelis Moras
8
S. DavisSteven Davis (C)
Goal35
Goal58
6
TziolisAlexandros Tziolis
11
BruntChris Brunt
8
KonePanagiotis Kone
Substitution71
13
C. EvansCorry Evans
9
MitroglouKostas Mitroglou
Substitution76
14
DallasStuart Dallas
15
TorosidisVasilis Torosidis (C)
16
NorwoodOliver Norwood
16
KarelisNikos Karelis
Substitution65
17
McNairPaddy McNair
Substitution85
19
PapastathopoulosSokratis Papastathopoulos
19
WardJamie Ward
Substitution81
20
HolebasJosé Holebas
20
CathcartCraig Cathcart
21
AravidisChristos Aravidis
Goal87
21
MagennisJosh Magennis
Goal49
Substitution78
22
SamarisAndreas Samaris

Substitutes

23
MannusAlan Mannus (GK)
12
KapinoStefanos Kapino (GK)
12
CarrollRoy Carroll (GK)
2
KitsiouStelios Kitsiou
2
HodsonLee Hodson
3
StafylidisKostas Stafylidis
3
FergusonShane Ferguson
7
PelkasDimitris Pelkas
Substitution71
5
McCulloughLuke McCullough
Substitution85
10
FortounisKostas Fortounis
6
ReevesBen Reeves
11
VyntraLoukas Vyntra
7
McGinnNiall McGinn
Substitution81
13
VellidisMarkos Vellidis (GK)
9
GriggWill Grigg
14
TzanetopoulosAdam Tzanetopoulos
10
McKayBilly McKay
17
TachtsidisPanagiotis Tachtsidis
15
McCourtPaddy McCourt
18
MantalosPetros Mantalos
Substitution65
18
McArdleRory McArdle
23
AthanasiadisStefanos Athanasiadis
Substitution76
22
BoyceLiam Boyce
Substitution78

Coach

Michael O'Neill (NIR) Kostas Tsanas (GRE)

Referee

Bas Nijhuis (NED)

Assistant referees

Rob van de Ven (NED), Charles Schaap (NED)

Fourth official

Bas van Dongen (NED)

Additional assistant referees

Kevin Blom (NED), Peter Janssen (NED)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution