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Key Events

D. Ballard
J. Thompson
3 - 2
V. Muriqi
3 - 1
S. Lavery
B. Spencer
2 - 1
Z. Bytyqi
M. Rashica
2 - 0
V. Muriqi
Penalty Goal
1 - 0

Match Stats

58% 41%
Shots Off Target
Shots On Target 6 3
Total Passes 524 354
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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


Thanks for joining us for live coverage of Kosovo's 3-2 win over Northern Ireland in the Nations League.
The three points for the hosts means they remain in second place in League C Group 2, though they stretch their advantage over Northern Ireland in third to five points. Kosovo face a tricky trip to group leaders Greece next, while the visitors will host bottom-placed Cyprus next time out.
The referee blows the final whistle, as the hosts run out 3-2 winners. They were set on their way after just nine minutes, when Davis brought down Rashica in the box. Muriqi rolled the resulting penalty into the bottom corner. They then doubled their lead soon after, when Bytyqi was well-placed to turn a Rashica cross into the back of the net. The visitors got themselves back into the game just before half-time, when Lavery nodded a Spencer cross in at the back post to halve the deficit. However, Kosovo restored their two goal advantage just seven minutes into the second period, with Muriqi adding his second of the match as he finished off a deflected Kastrati cross. Northern Ireland found another reply though, as Ballard powered home a header with seven minutes left to play to put the pressure on Giresse's team. However, the hosts were able to hold on for a 3-2 victory.
B. Fazliji
Yellow Card
90' + 5' Fazliji is penalised for a hard slide on Brown on the touchline, and receives a yellow card for his troubles.
90' + 4' Can the visitors find a late equaliser?
L. Kastrati
Yellow Card
90' + 2' Kastrati is cautioned for a late challenge on Ballard.
I. Drešević
Yellow Card
90' Dresevic is yellow-carded for a bad foul on Bradley.
90' The referee has added on six minutes of additional time at the end of this match.
E. Sahiti
M. Rashica
89' Rashica is replaced by Sahiti.
J. Thompson
Yellow Card
88' Thompson is booked for bringing down Rashica.
87' What a miss!!! The ball pings around the Kosovo box, before ending up with McMenamin at the back post. Somehow, he manages to scoop his shot at goal over the crossbar and behind for a goal-kick when it looked like he couldn't do so. That's a real let-off for the hosts.
C. Bradley
B. Spencer
86' Spencer makes way for Bradley.
85' What a chance! The visitors are nearly level after Spencer rolls the ball across the box for Brown. It looks for all the world that Brown is going to tap home and make it 3-3, until Fazliji makes a vital interception.
J. Thompson
83' Thompson's free-kick was floated superbly, allowing Ballard to power his header home.
D. Ballard
83' It's 3-2!!! Northern Ireland have a lifeline back into this game, as Ballard rises highest to meet a Thompson free-kick. He does superbly to not only get up and meet the delivery, but also to head home and give his team a chance.
81' Time is running out on Baraclough's team if they want to overcome this two goal deficit.
T. Domgjoni
V. Berisha
79' Berisha limps off and is replaced by Domgjoni.
77' An attack from the hosts looks threatening, until Kastrati takes a heavy touch as just the wrong time and the ball runs away for a goal-kick.
B. Fazliji
D. Rrudhani
75' Giresse puts on Fazliji for Rrudhani.
J. Thompson
G. Saville
73' Thompson is on for Saville.
70' Brown chucks another long-throw into the box, but Ballard is penalised for a push on Muriqi and the danger is gone.
D. Charles
K. Lafferty
68' Dion Charles replaces Lafferty up front.
S. Charles
A. McCann
68' McCann comes off for Shea Charles.
G. Whyte
S. Lavery
68' Northern Ireland goalscorer Lavery makes way for Whyte.
66' The game has hit a bit of a lull, with Giresse's men happy to just keep possession as they try and see the game out.
64' The hosts have had 62% of the possession so far in this match.
62' Rashica turns and fires at goal in the box but it's straight at Peacock-Farrell, though his blushes are spared as the flag goes up for offside.
60' The visitors have lost their last three meetings with nations they've never played before.
58' Northern Ireland have never won a Nations League game, and will have to make an unlikely turnaround here if they want to change that.
56' The visitors look to hit back immediately, but the hosts are able to deal with a couple of crosses into their box with relative ease.
54' There was a lengthy VAR check after that goal, because there was a hint that Muriqi may have been offside. However, the goal is eventually awarded.
V. Muriqi
52' Muriqi makes it 3-1!!! He adds his second of the game, after Kastrati picked him out in acres of space in the middle. The cross comes off Muriqi's thigh and flies into the roof of the net, to restore Kosovo's two goal advantage.
50' The visitors have started this half brightly as they look to get back on level terms.
48' Brown launches a long-throw into the opposition box, but it evades everybody and bounces out for a goal-kick.
46' The hosts get us back underway for the second period.
Will that Lavery goal just before half-time give Northern Ireland the impetus to kick on and make a dramatic comeback here?
The referee blows the whistle to bring a lively first half to an end, with the scoreline 2-1 to the hosts. They were put into the lead after just nine minutes, when Rashica was brought down by Davis in the box. The referee pointed straight to the spot, and Muriqi rolled his penalty into the bottom right corner to make it 1-0. Bytyqi then doubled his side's advantage after 19 minutes, when a perfect Rashica cross from the right picked him out in the middle. The Konyaspor winger fired at goal first-time, and his effort nestled into the back of the net. However, Lavery got his side back into the game just before half-time, when he headed in a Spencer cross at the back post to make it 2-1 to Kosovo at the interval.
B. Spencer
44' Spencer's cross was lifted to the back post, where Lavery was waiting to head in.
S. Lavery
44' Northern Ireland are back in it!!! Lavery halves the deficit just before half-time as he met a looped Spencer cross from the right. The Blackpool striker came flying in at the back post to nod home and make it 2-1. It's game on.
43' Evans nearly scores an own-goal as he tried to head clear a cross. The ball ended up skimming off the top of his head, and just over his own crossbar as Peacock-Farrell was worried.
41' McCann takes a free-kick in a dangerous area, but he overhits his delivery and the ball flies over his teammates' heads and out for a goal-kick.
39' McMenamin gets into a good crossing position, but he wastes it as his cross skims off his foot and over the crossbar.
37' Kastrati is up on his feet and we are back underway.
36' Kastrati is down with a head injury after an aerial challenge with Brown. However, he looks like he'll be okay to continue.
34' Ballard heads at goal from another McCann corner, but it's straight at Ujkani.
32' Peacock-Farrell makes a superb stop to deny Kosovo a third, as Muslija tried his luck from 25 yards out. His sidefooted effort looked to be flying into the top corner, until the visiting goalkeeper tipped it wide.
30' Rashica fires a curler at goal but he can't get the direction on it to trouble Peacock-Farrell, who easily gathers.
S. Lavery
Yellow Card
28' Lavery is the first player to go in the referee's book for a cynical foul on Rrudhani.
27' Baraclough's men haven't scored in their last three Nations League games, but will need to find a couple of goals if they want to get a result here.
25' The hosts are looking the more likely to grab the next goal of the match and likely kill the game off.
23' Northern Ireland have won only one of their last 11 away competitive games, and look on their way to another defeat here.
21' The visitors are yet to have a shot on target.
M. Rashica
19' Rashica's delivery was perfect for Bytyqi to finish off and stretch his side's lead.
Z. Bytyqi
19' It's 2-0!!! Bytyqi doubles his side's advantage with a brilliant finish, after an excellent cross from Rashica on the right picked him out in the box. Bytyqi took it first-time, and his shot was too powerful for Peacock-Farrell as the ball nestles in the back of the net.
17' Peacock-Farrell makes a smart stop to deny Rashica from a tight angle, though the flag later goes up for offside.
15' Each one of the visitors' six UEFA Nations League goals have been scored by a different player.
13' Davis rolls the ball to Saville on the edge of the box, but his drive deflects into the ground and over for a corner. Ballard then meets the resulting set-piece, but his header flies well over.
11' Evans gets his head to a McCann corner from the left, but he can't get over it and his nodded effort at goal lands on top of the net.
V. Muriqi
Penalty Goal
9' Muriqi puts his side 1-0 up!!! He steps up for the penalty, and places it into the bottom right corner. Peacock-Farrell guesses the right way, but the spot-kick had too much power on it and squeezed in.
8' PENALTY!!! The hosts have a spot-kick, after Davis fells Rashica in the box. The Norwich City man nipped in front of the Northern Ireland midfielder, before being brought down and the referee points straight to the spot.
7' It's been a cagey opening here as both sides look to settle into the game.
5' This is the first ever meeting between these two nations.
3' Northern Ireland scream for a penalty after Ballard hits the deck as a corner comes over, but the referee waves away the protests.
1' The visitors kick us off and we are underway.
The two teams make their way onto the pitch ahead of the national anthems.
Visiting boss Ian Baraclough goes with five alterations from the 0-0 draw with Cyprus with McGinn, Charles and McMenamin preferred in the midfield three to Lane, Shea Charles and McGinn. Ballard starts in defence for Paddy McNair, while Lavery will play up top with Lafferty.
Home head coach Alain Giresse makes six changes from the loss to Greece, as Rrudhani starts at left-back while Ujkani goes into net for the suspended Muric. Muslija, Dresevic and Berisha start in midfield, while Bytyqi will form part of the front three.
SUBS: Shea Charles, Niall McGinn, Dion Charles, Trevor Carson, Jordan Thompson, Liam Donnelly, Caolan Boyd-Munce, Gavin Whyte, Paddy Lane, Alfie McCalmont, Luke Southwood, Conor Bradley.
NORTHERN IRELAND (3-5-2): Bailey Peacock-Farrell; Daniel Ballard, Jonny Evans, Ciaron Brown; Brodie Spencer, Alistair McCann, Steven Davis, George Saville, Conor McMenamin; Kyle Lafferty, Shayne Lavery.
SUBS: Visar Bekaj, Betim Fazliji, Arber Zeneli, Emir Sahiti, Benjamin Kololli, Florian Loshaj, Blendi Idrizi, Toni Domgjoni.
KOSOVO (4-3-3): Samir Ujkani; Lirim Kastrati, Amir Rrahmani, Mirlind Kryeziu, Donat Rrudhani; Valon Berisha, Ibrahim Dresevic, Florent Muslija; Milot Rashica, Vedat Muriqi, Zymer Bytyqi.
The visitors meanwhile are winless so far in their Nations League campaign, after losing 1-0 at home to Greece and then being held to a goalless draw in Cyprus. They’ll have to show more attacking threat if they want to get a result here.
The hosts come into this game second in the group, after they followed up a 2-0 away victory over Cyprus with a home defeat to Greece. They would love to get back to winning ways here to strengthen their hopes of promotion to League B.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of the Nations League meeting between Kosovo and Northern Ireland in League C Group 2.