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Played
September 10, 2013 11:45 PM IST
Stade Josy Barthel — Lëtzebuerg (Luxembourg)
Referee:‬ R. Malek‎
Attendance:‬ 4114‎
 
Top of the Match
Stefano Bensi
Stefano Bensi
Luxembourg
Aurelien Joachim
Aurelien Joachim
Luxembourg
Flop of the Match
Steven Davis
Steven Davis
Northern Ireland
Oliver Norwood
Oliver Norwood
Northern Ireland

Luxembourg 3-2 Northern Ireland: Red Lions secure first World Cup qualifying home win in 41 years

Three goals in nine minutes during the closing stages turned the match on its head, with Gareth McCauley looking to have rescued a point only for the hosts to snatch victory

Mark Bowering

Northern Ireland's manager Michael O'Nei
Getty
Northern Ireland slumped to a 3-2 defeat against Luxembourg, who climbed off the bottom of Uefa World Cup qualifying Group F thanks to their first competitive home victory in 41 years.

Martin Paterson put the visitors ahead with a powerful strike after 14 minutes, but Aurelien Joachim struck via a defletion just before the break to level.

Stefano Bensi's low drive gave the hosts the lead with 12 minutes remaining, only for Gareth McCauley to convert Oliver Norwood's cross to equalise five minutes later.

Mathias Janisch snatched victory, however, when he fired home following a goalmouth scramble after 87 minutes.

Mario Mutsch returned from suspension and was drafted straight back into a Luxembourg side that shipped 17 goals in seven qualifiers prior to Northern Ireland's visit.

Northern Ireland were without the banned duo of Kyle Lafferty and Chris Brunt, both sent off in Friday's 4-2 defeat against Portugal, with Burnley defender Daniel Lafferty replacing the latter in the starting line-up.

Lars Gerson stooped to head over a ninth-minute corner as the home side produced an encouraging start that was halted five minutes later by a moment of magic from Paterson.

The Huddersfield Town striker controlled Shane Ferguson's pass with a first touch that took him clear of his marker just outside the penalty area before rifling low into the bottom corner with a rasping finish.

Mutsch powered wide from a free-kick routine after 25 minutes as Luxembourg looked for an equaliser, and Gerson struck the crossbar with a curling effort, although the linesman's flag was raised for offside.

Roy Carroll palmed away Bensi's strike after he cut in from the left flank, but the Olympiakos goalkeeper was powerless to prevent Luxembourg from hauling themselves level in added time at the end of the first half.

The hosts broke quickly, David Turpel eventually picking up possession in the centre circle before splitting the Northern Ireland defence with a pass that Joachim latched on to.

Joachim's shot struck Daniel Lafferty and looped over Carroll with virtually the last kick of the half.

Clearly energised following Joachim's fortuitous goal, Luxembourg started the second half strongly, Bensi crashing a free-kick from in the Northern Ireland area inches wide after Carroll has been penalised for a pass back from McAuley.

Substitute Billy McKay squandered a gilt-edged chance to put the visitors ahead with 22 minutes remaining.

A Paterson backheel allowed McKay to scamper in on goal and his first touch took him away from the onrushing keeper, but he stumbled and blazed over from six yards.

That miss proved decisive as Bensi edged Luxembourg ahead after 78 minutes. The Northern Ireland defence afforded the striker too much time and space 20 yards out and he duly dispatched an unstoppable effort across Carroll into his bottom right corner.

Four minutes later, though, Northern Ireland drew level as McAuley rose well to meet Oliver Norwood's free-kick and he powered a header that bounced past Jonathan Joubert.

But there was still time for more late drama as Janisch prodded home from close range with three minutes of normal time remaining after the Northern Ireland defenders failed to clear a corner.

That goal secured the Red Lions' first home World Cup qualifying victory since they beat Turkey 2-0 in 1972.



Luxembourg

-
Jonathan Joubert
Goalkeeper
3.00
-
Chris Philipps
Defender
3.00
-
Mario Mutsch
Midfielder
3.50
-
Stefano Bensi
Striker
78′
4.00
-
Tom Laterza
Defender
2.50
-
Laurent Jans
Midfielder
3.00
-
2.50
-
Gerson
Midfielder
3.00
-
D. da Mota
Striker
89′
3.00
-
3.50
-
David Turpel
Striker
47′ 68′
3.50

Northern Ireland

3.00
1
Roy Carroll
Goalkeeper
2.50
-
3.50
23
3.00
6
Jonny Evans
Defender
2.50
2
Lee Hodson
Defender
2.50
31
Shane Ferguson
Midfielder
60′
3.00
14
Niall McGinn
Midfielder
35′
3.00
-
Oliver Norwood
Midfielder
82′
2.00
8
Steven Davis
Midfielder
14′
3.00
-
Jamie Ward
Striker
3.50
10

Substitutes

-
Marc Oberweis
Goalkeeper
 - 
-
 - 
-
 - 
-
Ante Bukvic
Defender
89′
2.50
-
 - 
-
Rene Peters
Midfielder
 - 
-
Yannick Bastos
Midfielder
 - 
-
2.50

Substitutes

 - 
47
 - 
4
Alex Bruce
Defender
 - 
6
Chris Baird
Defender
 - 
23
 - 
31
Corry Evans
Midfielder
2.50
-
3.00
16
 - 
-
 - 
20
Josh Magennis
Goalkeeper
2.50
19

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
Group A Matchday 9
Times In IST
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Robin van Persie Robin van Persie
Striker
Man. United
11 2
Edin Dzeko Edin Dzeko
Striker
Manchester City
10 0
Mesut Özil Mesut Özil
Midfielder
Arsenal
8 3
Zlatan Ibrahimovic Zlatan Ibrahimovic
Striker
PSG
8 1
Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
8 0