Brought to you by

Key Events

88'
B. Vrhovec
Yellow Card
80'
Aljaž Struna
B. Cesar
79'
N. McGinn
P. McNair
75'
M. Črnic
R. Bezjak
71'
C. McLaughlin
M. Smith
70'
J. Magennis
C. Washington
66'
M. Novakovič
Penalty Miss
66'
R. Carroll
Penalty Save
65'
J. Evans
Yellow Card
62'
A. Kirm
B. Verbič
61'
P. Stojanović
N. Skubic
60'
S. Dallas
S. Ferguson
60'
K. Lafferty
J. Ward
52'
J. Oblak
Yellow Card
52'
C. Washington
Yellow Card
46'
B. Vrhovec
J. Kurtič
46'
M. Novakovič
J. Iličić
46'
A. Hughes
G. McAuley
43'
J. Ward
Yellow Card
41'
R. Carroll
Assist
41'
C. Washington
Goal
6
3
6
2

Stats

Possession
% %
0
3
Shots Off Target
Shots On Target 2 3
Total Passes 300 568

Commentary

Thanks for joining our commentary from Windsor Park this evening. Until next time, goodbye.
Conor Washington's strike in the 41st minute proves to be enough to guide Northern Ireland to a 1-0 victory this evening, extending their unbeaten run in all competitions to 10 matches. The run is a great achievement for Michael O'Neill and his side, although they were forced to work hard against Slovenia as Roy Carroll was forced into a penalty save and late low stop to deny the visitors a draw or possibly more. Ireland are making strong strides in their preparation for the Euros and will be delighted to add another victory to their tally ahead of the competition this summer.
FULL-TIME: Northern Ireland 1-0 Slovenia
90' + 3' The referee blows the full-time whistle at Windsor Park.
90' + 2' Ireland are doing all they can to take the pace out of the game and it appears to be enough to secure the win this evening.
90' There will be three minutes of added time.
90' Carroll comes through a crowd of players to punch the ball clear from the resulting corner allowing the backline to breathe once again.
89' CHANCE! Carroll makes a huge save to deny Slovenia an equaliser as he gets down low to his left to palm a strike from Birsa past the post. Stojanovic raided forward from the back and Crnic sent the ball into the path of the midfielder with an accurate back-heel. Birsa had space and time to find the corner, but Carroll got down well enough to make the stop. Big moment for O'Neill's men.
B. Vrhovec
Yellow Card
Slovenia
88' Vrhovec is booked for pulling back Magennis down the left flank.
86' Hughes does well to clear the danger from a cross by Kirm, but the ball lands at the feet of Krhin on the edge of the box. The midfielder strikes the ball with power, but Norwood is on hand to make a crucial block to divert the ball behind for a corner.
83' An important seven minutes for the home side as they will not want to concede another late goal following their costly lapse against Wales last week. They've been solid for the majority of the contest and O'Neill will be determined to end this spell of fixtures on a high note.
82' Ireland waste their chance from the free-kick as the delivery fails to find a green shirt before the ball rolls into the hands of Oblak.
81' An awful cross from Norwood gets cut out by the first man, but fortunately for the midfielder the hosts win another set-piece which gives him a second chance.
Aljaž Struna
B. Cesar
Slovenia
80' A change at the back for the visitors as Cesar makes way fro Aljaz Struna.
80' Magennis gets wiped out down the right flank by Jokic and wins a free-kick in a dangerous position for the home side.
N. McGinn
P. McNair
Northern Ireland
79' Final change for the Irish this evening as McNair makes way after a solid evening in a defensive midfield role, with McGinn replacing him for the last 11 minutes.
M. Črnic
R. Bezjak
Slovenia
75' Bezjak has not been at his best this evening and his match comes to an end with the arrival of Crnic.
74' Lafferty is in behind the Slovenia defence again and knocks the ball invitingly across the face of goal, but this time he is flagged offside after latching on to Evans's header. The forward has eased the pressure on the backline in his limited time on the pitch.
72' Lafferty causes problems for the visitors in the final third by racing onto a ball over the top down the right flank. He has work to do with little support, although the forward does manage to force a low ball across the face of goal. Oblak tries to gather at his near post, but Magennis gets there first, only to send his sliding effort wide of the post.
C. McLaughlin
M. Smith
Northern Ireland
71' The debutant makes way after a productive 71 minutes as McLaughlin comes on down the right.
70' Ireland have sat back in the second half and the pressure is slowly beginning to tell on their backline. The mistake from Evans was a poor one from the defender, but the visitors had upped the ante by putting crosses into the box. Katenec's mem will not have given up their hopes of forcing a draw tonight.
J. Magennis
C. Washington
Northern Ireland
70' A solid match for goalscorer Washington comes to an end as he is replaced by Magennis.
M. Novakovič
Penalty Miss
Slovenia
66' A poor penalty from Novakovic as he appears to stumble on his run-up and his strike suffered as a result, which saw his effort saved comfortably by Carroll.
R. Carroll
Penalty Save
Northern Ireland
66' Carroll makes the save with ease from a poor penalty by Novakovic. The forward’s effort was tame and the keeper guessed the right way and palmed his strike away with authority, while his defence mop up the loose ball.
J. Evans
Yellow Card
Northern Ireland
65' Evans gives away a spot-kick by pulling back Samardzic in the area. The duo were involved in a tussle from a corner and the referee spotted the West Bromwich Albion man grabbing the shirt of the defender.
64' The referee gets in the way of a corner routine as Norwood tried to pick out Davis on the edge of the box, and Slovenia are allowed to break.
A. Kirm
B. Verbič
Slovenia
62' Slovenia rotate their options down the left as Kirm comes on to the field for Verbic.
P. Stojanović
N. Skubic
Slovenia
61' A change at the back for the visitors as Stojanovic replaces Skubic.
S. Dallas
S. Ferguson
Northern Ireland
60' Dallas comes on to replace Ferguson down the left.
K. Lafferty
J. Ward
Northern Ireland
60' A switch for Ward's own good as he narrowly escaped a second booking a few minutes ago, which allows Kyle Lafferty to enter the fray.
59' Ferguson is on his mettle at the back once again by heading the ball behind for a corner. The wing-back has done well tracking back to perform his defensive duties this evening. From the resulting corner, the Irish are able to clear the danger with relative ease to continue their stoic display.
57' McNair makes a strong challenge in the middle of the park to steal the ball for the home side, but the loose ball lands at the feet of Skubic. Ireland haven't got going after the break and need a spark to get back into their rhythm.
54' Smith finds all sorts of space down the right as he collects the ball from Norwood. The wing-back raids into the box and tries to pull a cross back into the feet of Davis, but his delivery is poor and the visitors are able to clear the danger. Should have done better from that position, which will frustrate the debutant.
J. Oblak
Yellow Card
Slovenia
52' The referee appears to have booked the wrong Slovenia player as well as Oblak did nothing in the aftermath of the tussle, with Samardzic being the aggressor in the piece.
C. Washington
Yellow Card
Northern Ireland
52' Washington gets booked in a case of possible mistaken identity. He may have made contact with Samardzic as he tried to pull his team-mate away from the defender's grasp, but nothing to warrant a booking. Harsh on the striker.
50' Tussle in the final third between Samardzic and Ward, who is already on a booking. The Ireland forward tries to steal the ball from Oblak as he goes up to claim a bouncing ball, but he fails to reach it and inadvertently hits the keeper as he makes his way down. Samardzic reacts furiously and Washington races over to separate the pair before the referee trundles across and the handbags come to an end.
48' Strong start to the half from the visitors as they raid into the final third. Unfortunately for Katanec's men the final ball is lacking from Verbic as he sends his cross out of play. Wasted opportunity there following a nice passage of play.
B. Vrhovec
J. Kurtič
Slovenia
46' Vrhovec comes into the midfield in the second half after an underwhelming first half from Kurtic.
M. Novakovič
J. Iličić
Slovenia
46' Novakovic comes on for the visitors in a reshuffle to their frontline.
A. Hughes
G. McAuley
Northern Ireland
46' A change at the back for the home side as Hughes slots into the defence to replace McAuley.
46' We're back underway at Windsor Park.
The players are back out for the second half, so we should be underway shortly.
O'Neill will be pleased with his side's exploits in the first half without the home team being overly convincing in the final third. The Irish were solid at the back for the majority of the half and limiting the visitors in the middle of the park. They themselves had barely tested the gloves of Oblak before Washington produced his moment of magic to beat the keeper and send his team into the break with the lead.
HALF-TIME: Northern Ireland 1-0 Slovenia
45' The referee opts to bring the first half to an end without the use of additional minutes.
J. Ward
Yellow Card
Northern Ireland
43' Ward becomes the first player into the book this evening for a foul on Bostjan Cesar. Surprising to see a yellow card in a friendly for a nothing tackle.
R. Carroll
Assist
Northern Ireland
41' A hopeful punt upfield from the keeper does the business for Ireland before Washington did the rest with a neat finish.
C. Washington
Goal
Northern Ireland
41' Washington notches his first international goal to put Ireland ahead this evening, and in some style too. The striker latches onto to a ball over the top and bundles Skubic out of his way before rounding Samardzic and then placing his strike into the corner, giving Oblak no chance. A great moment for the 23-year-old.
38' Ward does well down the flank to release the ball to Davis while under pressure, which allows the midfielder to turn into space. He tries a first-time ball for the run of Washington behind the Slovenia backline, but Jokic reads the danger and makes a vital interception. 
36' Both defences have been on their game this evening as there has been very little for the attacking players to feed off. O'Neill will be delighted with what he has seen from Evans, Cathcart and McAuley tonight in the back three, all of whom will be very important in France this summer.
34' Davis is forced into action to head the first set-piece behind for another corner, but on the second try Samardzic gets too ambitious in his attempts to win the ball ahead of Carroll as he bundles the keeper into the net.
33' Slovenia's turn to break and put stress on the Irish defence as Verbic finds space down the left and sends a deep cross to the back post. Ilicic tries to latch onto the ball, forcing Shane Ferguson into action to head the ball behind. Good awareness from the wing-back.
31' The home side keep the pressure on as Miral Samardzic concedes a corner by heading the ball behind. However, the resulting delivery from Norwood is poor and the visitors breathe again by clearing the danger.
29' CHANCE! The game comes alive as Norwood threads the needle to send Washington through into the left inside channel. The striker tries to lift the ball over Oblak from a tight angle, but the keeper spreads himself and makes the crucial block to keep his side level. Nice run from Washington, but the finish just lacked the precision needed for the opening goal.
27' CHANCE! Slovenia break through the middle of the pitch through Bezjak and he sends the ball to his right for Ilicic. The midfielder takes a touch to get the ball onto his left foot before striking an effort at goal, but his shot is tame and saved with ease by Carroll.
25' Smith gets involved again down the right and lofts the ball towards the edge of the box for Davis. The Southampton man attempts to link-up with Washington by back-heeling the ball, but the two are not on the same page and Jokic clears the danger.
24' It has been a scrappy affair so far this evening. Neither side has been able to assert control in the final third due to some slack passing and robust defending. An interesting battle is developing for O'Neill's men.
21' Norwood sends the ball long to the back post once again and Evans battles to head towards the six-yard box, but it flicks off the head of Jasmin Kurtic and goes out for a corner. The home side are unable to keep up the pressure as McAuley concedes a foul for pushing in the box from the resulting set-piece.
20' Steven Davis bursts through the middle of the Slovenia midfield and races into the final third before he gets brought down by a physical challenge from Bojan Jokic. The tackle is ruled too reckless by the referee, who awards a free-kick 35 yards from goal to the Irish.
18' Josip Ilicic raids forward to the edge of the box and eyes Bezjak, who tries to get across McAuley on the penalty spot. The midfielder threads a pinpoint pass for his team-mate, but the forward is ruled offside, while he fired the ball well over the bar anyway.
16' A moment for the Northern Ireland debutant Smith down the right as he beats his man and sends a low cross towards the run of Washington, but Oblak is alert to the danger and comes racing off his line to gather ahead of the forward. Good piece of work from the 27-year-old.
13' A round of applause rings around Windsor Park for the late Johan Cruyff. Nice mark of respect from the crowd for one of the greats of the game.
11' CHANCE! Slovenia work the ball well in the final third as Skubic gets involved down the flank once again and his pass goes through the legs of Verbic to allow Bezjak to break down the right inside channel. The forward has a tricky angle to work with, but he fails to test Carroll by striking his effort into the sidenetting. Disappointing strike from that position.
8' Ireland are struggling to click in the final third at the moment, but they are keeping their shape well in the 3-5-2 system. O'Neill will not be too concerned at this stage as his side attempt to feel their way into the match.
6' O'Neill's men win a free-kick and Norwood sends the ball deep into the box for the run of Evans, but the defender can only guide his header harmlessly past the post. Quiet start to the match from the home side.
4' Strong start to the match from the visitors as they pressing Ireland in possession. The home side's midfield has had a moment on the ball to play an accurate pass to Conor Washington, keeping the flow of the game situated in the middle of the park.
2' Early warning for the home side as Skubic is allowed to raid down the right flank and play a low cross into the box. McAuley prevents the ball from reaching Bezjak with an outstretched leg, but the ball travels back into the path of Skubic on the edge of the box. However, he snatches at the chance and sends his left-footed strike wide of the target.
1' We're underway at Windsor Park.
A big impetus for Northern Ireland this evening. A victory or a draw will see them move to 10 matches unbeaten in all competitions, which will be a remarkable achievement for O'Neill and his team.
The players are out on the pitch at Windsor Park for the anthems, so we should be underway shortly.
Northern Ireland have made four changes from their draw against Wales, with Michael Smith earning his cap for O'Neill's men this evening. Shane Ferguson, Roy Carroll and Jamie Ward also come into the starting lineup as Conor McLaughlin, Stuart Dallas, Michael McGovern and Kyle Lafferty all drop to the bench.
Slovenia Subs: Kirm, Aljaz Struna, Andraz Struna, Vrhovec, Crnic, Novakovic, Vidmar, Stojanovic, Belec.
Slovenia (4-4-1-1): Oblak; Cesar, Jokic, Samardzic, Skubic; Birsa, Ilicic, Krhin, Kurtic; Verbic, Bezjak.
Northern Ireland Subs: Hughes, McKay, D Lafferty, McLaughlin, Magennis, K Lafferty, Hodson, McCullough, McGovern, McGinn, Paton, Dallas.
Northern Ireland (3-5-2): Carroll; McAuley, Evans, Cathcart; Smith, McNair, Davis, Norwood, Ferguson; Ward, Washington.
The team news has been announced and we'll start with Northern Ireland.
Slovenia will not be featuring in France this summer after failing to qualify for the tournament through the playoff system. Srecko Katanec's men finished third in Group E behind England and Switzerland, which sent them into a showdown against the Ukraine. They were well beaten in the first leg in a 2-0 defeat at the Arena Lviv thanks to goals from Andriy Yarmolenko and Yevhen Seleznyov, but they did put in a spirited performance in the second leg to try to send the match into extra-time, only for Yarmolenko to end their hopes with a late goal. Katanec's side defeated Macedonia last week, and will be eyeing another scalp this evening.
Michael O'Neill's men will be determined to continue their fine form from their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign with a confidence-boosting victory this evening over Slovenia. Northern Ireland drew 1-1 in their friendly match against Wales last week as they were denied victory thanks to a late strike from the penalty spot by Simon Church, and O'Neill will be hopeful that his team can go better tonight and claim the win.
Hello and welcome to the live commentary of the friendly clash between Northern Ireland and Slovenia at Windsor Park.
Comments ()