Mar 26, 2017 at 7.45pm UK at ​Windsor Park
Northern Ireland
2-0
NorwayNorway
Ward (2'), Washington (33')
Dallas (43')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Nordtveit (44')

Result: Northern Ireland impress in win over Norway

Michael O'Neill during the Euro 2016 Group C match between Ukraine and Northern Ireland on July 16, 2016
© AFP
Northern Ireland regain second place in Group C with an excellent 2-0 victory over Norway in their World Cup qualifying fixture in Belfast.

Goals from Jamie Ward and Conor Washington have earned Northern Ireland a 2-0 victory over Norway in their World Cup qualifying fixture in Belfast.

The two attackers netted in the first half of the game at Windsor Park as Michael O'Neill's men recorded their third win from five matches in Group C.

Northern Ireland went into the game knowing that they required a point or more to regain second place behind Germany, and they needed less than two minutes to open the scoring.

After collecting the ball inside the penalty area, Ward switched it onto his right foot before curling an effort into the far corner of the net from 16 yards.

It was a stunning start from the home side but they struggled to build on it with only Steven Davis threatening a second, his half-volley being fired into the stands from the edge of the area.

Despite falling behind, Norway had looked lively and before the half-hour mark, they enjoyed their best spell of the first half with Joshua King testing Michael McGovern from distance before Alexander Soderlund struck the crossbar with a volley from 20 yards.

However, Northern Ireland rediscovered their confidence in the final third and they doubled their advantage through Conor Washington, who latched on to a through-ball from Davis before slotting his shot through the legs of goalkeeper Rune Jarstein.

The visitors needed a response after the restart but it was Northern Ireland who continued to press for a third, with Stefan Johansen almost diverting the ball into his own net.

Northern Ireland remained in control of the match but like at the start of the first half, they were not creating many openings and when the game entered the final quarter, Norway were beginning to find a way back into the contest.

Substitute Adama Diomande got a header on target from 14 yards before minutes later, Havard Nordtveit forced a brilliant save out of McGovern, who had to dive to his right to prevent the West Ham United player's 35-yard free kick from finding the bottom corner.

Northern Ireland would have expected more pressure from the visitors, but they slowly began to reestablish their earlier dominance and substitute Niall McGinn almost caught Jarstein out with a volley after the goalkeeper's clearance had gone straight to the winger.

The home side were more than content with just the two goals, however, as they strengthened their bid to reach next summer's tournament in Russia.

Michael O'Neill during the Euro 2016 Group C match between Ukraine and Northern Ireland on July 16, 2016
Read Next:
Ward, Dallas pull out of NI squad
>



You May Like
Recomended from Sports Mole
Premier League
Championship
League One
League Two
National League
Scottish Premiership
Scottish Championship
Scottish League One
Scottish League Two
La Liga
Coupe de la Ligue
Ligue 1
Bundesliga
Serie A
Eredivisie
Primeira Liga
A-League
Major League Soccer
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Chelsea28223359213869
2Tottenham HotspurSpurs28178355213459
3Manchester CityMan City28176554302457
4Liverpool29168561362556
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd271410342231952
6Arsenal27155756342250
7Everton29148751302150
8West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom29127103938143
9Stoke CityStoke2999113342-936
10Southampton2796123336-333
11Bournemouth2996144254-1233
12West Ham UnitedWest Ham2996144052-1233
13Burnley2995153142-1132
14Watford2887133348-1531
15Leicester CityLeicester2886143347-1430
16Crystal Palace2884163646-1028
17Swansea CitySwansea2983183663-2727
18Hull City2966172658-3224
19Middlesbrough28410142033-1322
20Sunderland2855182450-2620