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Key Events

90' + 3'
J. Evans
D. Charles
2 - 2
P. McNair
1 - 2
S. Davis
Yellow Card
A. Kakoullis
M. Tzionis
0 - 2
A. Kakoullis
C. Kyriakou
0 - 1

Match Stats

60% 39%
Shots Off Target
Shots On Target 7 2
Total Passes 539 370
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Live table
Pos Team P W D L F A +/- PTS Form
1 Greece GRE Greece 4 4 0 0 7 0 +7 12 W W W W
2 Kosovo RKS Kosovo 4 2 0 2 5 5 0 6 L W L W
3 Northern Ireland NIR Northern Ireland 4 0 2 2 4 6 -2 2 D L D L
4 Cyprus CYP Cyprus 4 0 2 2 2 7 -5 2 D L D L


Relegation Play-off


That's all from us today folks, we hope you enjoyed the game!
This result sees Northern Ireland and Cyprus move onto two points, in third and fourth positions ahead of their final two group games in September.
Northern Ireland leave it late to nick a point against Cyprus, to make it 14 games without a win in the Nations League. Cyprus led 1-0 at the break, after Kakoullis found the back of the net with a glancing header, before he doubled his side's lead shortly after the restart with a tap-in. The hosts rallied after going two down and pulled one back on 71 minutes through McNair. Northern Ireland had numerous chances to equalise late on, with McGinn striking the crossbar, along with Whyte and Dion Charles going close before Evans popped up in stoppage time to make it 2-2. There was still time for more drama, as Christofi thought he had scored the winner for Cyprus just moments later, but his strike was ruled out for offside.
90' + 8' We're into the eighth minute of stoppage time. How much longer is left? It looks like it may end in a 2-2 draw.
90' + 6' It's end-to-end now, with both teams pushing forward in search of a winner and as we've just seen from the Cyprus goal, it could go either way.
90' + 4' GOAL RULED OUT! Cyprus have the ball in the back of the net straight after the restart but it's ruled out for offside! Christofi races in behind the Northern Ireland defence and fires the ball past Carson, but the flag goes up straight away as the striker made his run too early.
D. Charles
90' + 3' Dion Charles does well to flick the ball on and not go for goal himself, allowing Evans to sneak in and poke the ball into the back of the net.
J. Evans
90' + 3' NORTHERN IRELAND EQUALISE! Evans makes it 2-2 in stoppage time! Dion Charles glances a cross on at the near post and Evans throws himself at it at the back post, firing the ball onto the crossbar and it bounces down and over the line. The keeper tries to stop it, but it’s well over and instantly awarded. Can they now go on and get a winner?
90' + 1' CHANCE! Whyte just manages to get his head to the ball and fires a looping header towards goal, but it has too much on it and the ball flies over the crossbar.
90' There will be a minimum of six minutes added time played at the end of the second half.
88' Ballard gets his head to a corner from the left and powers a header towards goal, but he doesn't get enough direction on it and the ball flies well wide.
86' Stoppage in play now as Christofiis down with an injury, so he is receiving some medical treatment. However, it looks like he will be fine to continue.
84' Time is starting to run out for the hosts now, as it stands they will be bottom of the group, with Cyprus leapfrogging them into third spot.
82' CHANCE! Bradley with a huge opportunity to level the score! A deep low cross comes into the box and Bradley sneaks in behind the Cyprus defence unmarked and only as the keeper to beat. However, he sends his shot over the bar!
80' We're into the final 10 minutes of the game and it's all Northern Ireland now, pushing forward in search of an equaliser.
F. Katelaris
A. Kakoullis
78' Another Cyprus change now, with Kakoullis replaced by Katelaris.
78' OFF THE BAR! McGinn goes for an ambitious chip from the edge of the box after spotting Christodoulou off his line and it almost sneaks in! The keeper tries to get a hand to it, but is unable to do so and it ends up striking the crossbar. So close to making it 2-2.
77' SAVE! The Northern Ireland pressure continues and Dion Charles finds time and space and gets a shot away at goal, but Christodoulou gets down quickly and makes an excellent save to prevent the equaliser.
75' Only Iceland (0) have kept fewer clean sheets than Northern Ireland (1) in the competition, although their lone shutout did come against Cyprus earlier this month (0-0).
73' There was another VAR check on the goal, just making sure there wasn't any question of offside, but it's just a quick look and the goal stands.
P. McNair
71' NORTHERN IRELAND PULL ONE BACK! It’s awful defending from Cyprus at the back and they hand the hosts a lifeline! Panagiotou fails to clear the danger on the goal line and Dion Charles sneaks in and pulls it back to a team-mate for a shot, but it’s blocked and then falls straight to McNair who is just a couple of yards out and he simply couldn’t miss from there. It’s 2-1!
C. Bradley
B. Spencer
69' The third change sees Spencer replaced by Bradley.
D. Charles
K. Lafferty
69' Lafferty is another to head off and he is replaced by Dion Charles.
N. McGinn
C. McMenamin
69' Northern Ireland make a triple substitution now, with McMenamin the first to depart and he has been replaced by McGinn.
N. Ioannou
K. Laifis
69' A Cyprus substitution coming up now, with Laifis making way and on comes Ioannou.
K. Laifis
Yellow Card
68' Yellow Card Konstantinos Laifis
S. Davis
Yellow Card
68' The first yellow card of the game is shown to Davis, after he catches Kastanos high and late in a challenge for the ball.
66' This is much better from Northern Ireland, they have picked up the pace in the last few minutes and are starting to create some opportunities in front of goal, with Cyprus having to sit deep.
64' CHANCE! Spencer has a free header at the far post after an excellent cross into the box from the left by McMenamin. Spencer powers his effort down towards the Cyprus goal, but a defender gets back and makes a strong block.
63' That goal has really got the crowd going now, they are urging their side forward in search of a late equaliser. Can they do it?
63' Decent chance! Thompson whips a lovely free-kick into the box from the left wing and Lafferty throws himself at the ball, but can't keep his effort down and it flies high over the bar.
61' We're past the hour mark now at Windsor Park and it remains Cyprus who lead 2-0 and they look pretty comfortable, with Northern Ireland not creating much in front of goal.
G. Whyte
S. Lavery
59' Northern Ireland are making their first changes now as well, with Lavery one of those to depart and he has been replaced by Whyte.
J. Thompson
S. Charles
59' The other substitution sees Charles replaced by Thompson.
F. Papoulis
M. Tzionis
58' Another Cyprus change coming up, with Tzionis heading off and he has been replaced by Papoulis.
57' Northern Ireland have won just one of their last 13 home matches in all competitions (D5 L7), a 1-0 win over Lithuania in November 2021. They’ve scored just five times in this run and never more than once in a game.
55' Northern Ireland have it all to do now to get back into this one, there is plenty of time left on the clock, but they just don't look like scoring at the moment.
53' THE GOAL STANDS! VAR take a good look at the goal and decide that Kakoullis was onside and therefore Cyprus lead 2-0!
52' VAR CHECK! We're having a VAR check on the second Cyprus goal, just to double check that Kakoullis wasn't offside when the ball came across to him in the box. It looks tight, but Kakoullis seems to be onside.
M. Tzionis
51' It's excellent play from Tzionis to spot the run of his team-mate to his right and he had a good opportunity himself to have a shot, but passed to Kakoullis and he couldn't miss from close range.
A. Kakoullis
51' CYPRUS DOUBLE THEIR LEAD! Christofi drives into the Northern Ireland final third and gets to the edge of the box, before laying the ball out to Tzionis to his left, who could have fired an effort towards goal himself, but instead he opts to pass to Kakoullis. Kakoullis is completely unmarked and he had a simple tap-in to make it 2-0.
48' Cyprus have started the stronger of the two sides after the restart, with the hosts yet to wake up and get going. It will be interesting to see how long it takes for them to make some changes.
46' The second half is under way!
A. Panayiotou
I. Pittas
46' Cyprus have made a substitution ahead of the second half, with Pittas replaced by Panayiotou.
Northern Ireland have seen more of the ball, but haven't done enough with it in the Cyprus half, or tested Christodoulou in goal. They might need to make a few changes in order to get back into this one.
Cyprus lead 1-0 at the break at Windsor Park, with Kakoullis scoring the goal to make the difference. There hasn’t been much action in the final third during the first half, but Northern Ireland have had a couple of penalty appeals turned down and Ballard went close early on with a glancing header. The visitors made their opportunity count, as Kakoullis got in front of his marker at a free-kick and beat Carson with a fine header into the bottom right corner of the net. McMenamin had a good chance late on in the half, but Christodoulou did well to deny him to keep his side ahead at the interval.
45' Kakoullis has a go from distance late on, but his effort is awful and it flies high over the Northern Ireland crossbar. No chance was that ever troubling Carson.
44' Christodoulou is taking his time at the end of the half, trying to run down the clock for his side as they attempt to see it out with a 1-0 lead.
42' CHANCE! Charles feeds the ball through to McMenamin deep inside the penalty area and McMenamin fires a low shot towards the near post, but Christodoulou gets out quickly and makes a good stop. The rebound then falls straight back to McMenamin, but his second attempt is blocked and flies wide.
40' There isn’t long left to play before the end of the first half, can Northern Ireland find an equaliser before the half-time whistle?
38' Prior to this game, Cyprus had failed to score in 10 of their last 12 games in the Nations League (W2 D3 L7), including each of the last three in a row.
36' The Cyprus goal seems to have kicked Northern Ireland into life a bit now, they are getting on the ball more and are pushing forward in search of an equaliser before the break.
34' Decent strike! Lafferty tries his luck from the edge of the penalty area, but his effort flies straight into the arms of Christodoulou, who makes a comfortable save.
C. Kyriakou
32' It's a lovely set piece cross from Kyriakou, in the perfect place between the defence and goalkeeper, so his team-mate could run into the space and fire his header into the far corner.
A. Kakoullis
32' CYPRUS TAKE THE LEAD! Kyriakou whips a superb free-kick delivery into the penalty area and Kakoullis gets ahead of Charles at the near post and glances his header past Carson and into the far corner of the net. They lead 1-0!
31' We’re past the half an hour mark now and it remains goalless between Northern Ireland and Cyprus at Windsor Park, with no goalscoring chances for either team to report just yet.
29' PENALTY SHOUT! Lavery flicks the ball inside to McNair deep inside the penalty area and he drives forward, trying to get away from Artymatas and Panagiotou, but the two Cyprus players lean in and manage to crowd him out. McNair goes down and appeals for a spot-kick, but nothing is given.
27' McNair sneaks in behind the Cyprus defence and tries to get a shot away just inside the penalty area, but Gogic gets across and makes a strong block to prevent the opportunity.
25' Lafferty does well intially to hold up the ball in the Cyprus half and waits for back up to arrive in the form of a team-mate, however, his pass is then poor and it allows Cyprus to break forward themselves at the other end.
23' Cyprus have looked comfortable in the Northern Ireland half of the pitch when they've been able to get on the ball, they just haven't been able to create anything in front of goal, with Carson untested.
21' Northern Ireland have never lost at home against Cyprus in three previous meetings (W2 D1), although this is the first time they’ve hosted them since August 2002, a goalless draw at Windsor Park.
19' The hosts win a corner and the defenders come up from the back in an attempt to create an opportunity from the set piece. However, Cyprus defend it well and clear the danger.
17' The pace needs to be picked up by both sides if we are going to see any goals during the first half. Nothing could separate the two sides last week when they drew 0-0 in the reverse fixture.
15' There's not much of an atmosphere here at Windsor Park early on, with a packed out home crowd not having anything to shout about so far.
13' PENALTY SHOUT! Lavery tries to get on the end of a ball into the penalty area, but Christodoulou comes out and just gets to the ball first, while also clattering into the Northern Ireland midfielder. Nothing given.
11' The last three internationals between Northern Ireland and Cyprus have ended goalless, including last week’s meeting in the Nations League.
9' It's quite cagey at the moment, with Cyprus now starting to see more of the ball, but there isn't any action in the final third just yet.
7' A win for either today wouldn't be able to see them catch Kosovo or Greece at the moment, with the final two group games being played in September.
5' Northern Ireland are enjoying possession here, keeping the ball well in midfield and looking to get forward and get on the scoresheet early on if they can.
3' Decent chance! Ballard gets on the end of a lofted cross into the box at the near post and tries to filck it on, but doesn't get enough on the ball and the effort flies into the sidenetting.
1' We're under way!
The teams are out on the pitch and kick-off is just a few minutes away, stay tuned for all the match action!
Meanwhile Cyprus have made seven changes to their team, with only Gogic, Artymatas, Kyriakou and Pittas remaining in the starting XI from the side that were beaten by Greece.
Ian Baraclough has made three changes to the side that were beaten 3-2 by Kosovo, with Bailey Peacock-Farrell, George Saville and Alistair McCann dropping out and they have been replaced by Carson, Charles and McNair.
CYPRUS SUBS: Ioakim Toumpas, Andreas Panayiotou Filotis, Marios Antoniades, Nicholas Ioannou, Fanos Katelaris, Giannis Satasias, Matija Spoljaric, Andreas Avraam, Fotis Papoulis, Pavlos Correa, Loizos Loizou, Neofytos Michael.
CYPRUS (3-5-2): Andreas Christodoulou; Konstantinos Laifis, Alexandros Gogic, Kostakis Artymatas; Nikolas Panagiotou, Charalambos Kyriakou, Grigoris Kastanos, Marinos Tzionis, Ioannis Pittas; Andronikos Kakoullis, Dimitrios Christofi.
NORTHERN IRELAND SUBS: Conor Bradley, Paddy Lane, Charlie McCann, Niall McGinn, Dion Charles, Luke Southwood, Alfie Cairmont, Jordan Thompson, Alistair McCann, Gavin Whyte, Liam Donnelly, Joshua Clarke.
NORTHERN IRELAND (5-3-2): Trevor Carson; Ciaron Brown, Jonny Evans, Danny Ballard, Patrick McNair, Brodie Spencer; Conor McMenamin, Shea Charles, Steven Davis; Shayne Lavery, Kyle Lafferty
Cyprus are also without a win, they are bottom of the group with one point but they have a worse goal difference after they were beaten 3-0 by Greece last time out.
Northern Ireland started their Nations League group as favourites but after three games, they only have one point which came in a goalless draw with Cyprus last week, in between defeats against Greece and Kosovo. They are now winless in their last 13 Nations League games.
Hello and welcome to our LIVE match commentary of the Nations League clash between Northern Ireland and Cyprus at Windsor Park.