Northern Ireland earn historic win at Euro 2016


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Euro 2016: Ukraine 0-2 Northern Ireland highlights

Gareth McAuley’s header and a stoppage-time strike by substitute Niall McGinn helped Northern Ireland beat Ukraine to earn their first win at a European Championship.

West Brom defender McAuley got on the end of Oliver Norwood’s perfectly delivered free-kick for the crucial 49th-minute opener.

After the players were withdrawn because of a hailstorm, McGinn followed up Stuart Dallas’ fierce shot to make sure of a famous victory and revive hopes of progressing to the last 16.

Michael O’Neill’s men know they cannot finish bottom of Group C now as Ukraine remain without a point.

However, after losing their opening match to Poland, they may still need a draw against Germany in Paris on Sunday.

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Gareth McAuley scores for Northern Ireland

O’Neill’s tactical masterclass

Michael O’Neill gambled by making five changes, including relegating top scorer Kyle Lafferty to the substitutes’ bench.

Lafferty’s place went to 24-year-old Conor Washington, the QPR striker who was working as a postman and playing for St Ives in the ninth tier of English football the last time the Euros were staged in 2012.

But it paid off fantastically as Northern Ireland clinched their first win at a major tournament since famously beating hosts Spain at the 1982 World Cup.

Washington and Ward proved a handful for a Ukraine team who had kept 21 clean sheets in their past 39 games.

Northern Ireland’s strength from set-pieces told again as McAuley, 36, brilliantly got on the end of Norwood’s well-taken free-kick for the first goal.

After a hail shower that saw the players withdrawn and substitutions, six minutes of stoppage time were added on.

But Northern Ireland’s nervousness disappeared when Aberdeen winger McGinn pounced to seal victory.

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Euro 2016: Ukraine 0-2 Northern Ireland – McGinn goal seals win

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Czech referee Pavel Kralovec led the players off for a two-minute delay during the second half after a hail storm

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Match ends, Ukraine 0, Northern Ireland 2.

Second Half ends, Ukraine 0, Northern Ireland 2.

Goal! Ukraine 0, Northern Ireland 2. Niall McGinn (Northern Ireland) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner.

Attempt saved. Stuart Dallas (Northern Ireland) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Josh Magennis.

Jonny Evans (Northern Ireland) is shown the yellow card.

Foul by Roman Zozulya (Ukraine).

Jonny Evans (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Andriy Yarmolenko (Ukraine) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Stuart Dallas (Northern Ireland).

Substitution, Northern Ireland. Patrick McNair replaces Corry Evans.

Foul by Denys Garmash (Ukraine).

Oliver Norwood (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Yevhen Konoplyanka (Ukraine) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Yaroslav Rakitskiy.

Attempt blocked. Yevhen Konoplyanka (Ukraine) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Oleksandr Zinchenko.

Andriy Yarmolenko (Ukraine) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Jonny Evans (Northern Ireland).

Attempt saved. Andriy Yarmolenko (Ukraine) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Oleksandr Zinchenko.

Attempt missed. Viacheslav Shevchuk (Ukraine) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Artem Fedetskiy (Ukraine) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Steven Davis (Northern Ireland).

Stuart Dallas (Northern Ireland) is shown the yellow card.

Attempt saved. Oleksandr Zinchenko (Ukraine) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Viacheslav Shevchuk with a cross.

Substitution, Northern Ireland. Josh Magennis replaces Conor Washington.

Substitution, Ukraine. Oleksandr Zinchenko replaces Viktor Kovalenko.

Corner, Ukraine. Conceded by Jonny Evans.

Offside, Ukraine. Artem Fedetskiy tries a through ball, but Andriy Yarmolenko is caught offside.

Attempt missed. Viktor Kovalenko (Ukraine) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Substitution, Ukraine. Denys Garmash replaces Serhiy Sydorchuk.

Foul by Serhiy Sydorchuk (Ukraine).

Oliver Norwood (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Viktor Kovalenko (Ukraine) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Stuart Dallas (Northern Ireland).

Foul by Roman Zozulya (Ukraine).

Jonny Evans (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution, Ukraine. Roman Zozulya replaces Evgen Seleznyov.

Attempt missed. Viktor Kovalenko (Ukraine) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top right corner. Assisted by Evgen Seleznyov.

Substitution, Northern Ireland. Niall McGinn replaces Jamie Ward.

Offside, Ukraine. Artem Fedetskiy tries a through ball, but Andriy Yarmolenko is caught offside.

Serhiy Sydorchuk (Ukraine) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Serhiy Sydorchuk (Ukraine).



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