FOOTBALL Live

Wednesday September 9, 2009 Finished Windsor Park

0 - 2

Northern Ireland

Slovakia

  • Sestak 15’
  • Hološko 67’

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  1. World Cup qual. - Northern Ireland suffer defeat

    World Cup qual. - Northern Ireland suffer defeat

    Northern Ireland's hopes of World Cup qualification suffered a heavy blow as they lost 2-0 to Slovakia at Windsor Park. More

  • Live Commentary

    Time:90'
    • Northern Ireland
    • Slovakia
    • 90'+4 The whistle blows to call the end of a bitterly disappointing night for Northern Ireland - but full credit to the Slovakian team for some nervelessly ruthless finshing.
    • 90'+2 SAPARA RATTLES THE BAR! A stunning shot from the fresh-legged sub again very nearly gives the visitors a flattering third goal.
    • 90' Man of the match Vladimir Weiss comes off to an ovation from the visiting fans, and Marek Sapara trots on to replace him for the final moments.
    • 88' Holosko wastes a brilliant chance to make it three! He shoots from a narrow angle in on the keeper when a pass to the waiting Vittek would have guaranteed a goal!
    • 87' Both sets of players seem to be winding down a little now as the match is fizzling out a little.
    • 85' Corner to Ireland, and everyone is up for it... but it's well taken by the keeper and the ball is cleared.
    • 83' The keeper takes a minute to be down injured and winded, but the time-wasting tactic matters little by this point. It just looks like too much for the hosts to do.
    • 82' Yellow card for Healy after hitting a shot at the keeper's nether regions after the whistle had gone.
    • 81' More incredible footwork from Weiss sees him turn and leave the defence for dead, but his powerful strike flies just high and wide of the top left corner.
    • 81' Stoch goes off, Jendrisek comes on.
    • 80' As the hosts' tired legs start to run out of juice the Slovaks are pushing forward a little more now, and with the result all-but-certain they are beginning to express themselves more.
    • 78' Fantastic chance for Weiss to cap his display - his first-half display, at any rate - with a goal as he is free and clear by the penalty spot, but McAuley slide-tackles brilliantly to save an almost certain third goal.
    • 77' Northern Ireland push upfield again, but run out of space and the move ends with a goal kick.
    • 76' Paterson comes off, West Brom's Chris Brunt comes on.
    • 75' Driven in low by Davis - but Healy totally mishits his shot and that's a painful waste.
    • 74' Paterson wins a free kick near the right corner... a goal here and they are right back in this...
    • 73' Holosko takes a knock in a clash with Johnson and goes off for some magic spray on the sidelines.
    • 72' Good to see from that chance that Northern Ireland heads haven't gone down yet - they will fight to the last.
    • 71' GREAT CHANCE FOR THE HOSTS! Substitute Niall McGinn almost scores with a lovely lobbed effort that hits the top-right edge of the crossbar!
    • 70' McGinn and Baird come on for McCann and Clingan.
    • 69' Northern Ireland will keep plugging away but they'll need an epic comeback to earn a point from here...
    • 68' Amazingly it's just the second on-target shot of the night for the visitors - but still they are 2-0 ahead and all-but-guaranteed now of their spot in South Africa.
    • 67' HEARTBREAK FOR NORTHERN IRELAND!!!!! Slovakia score on the break, and totally againsdt the run of play, as Filip Holosko latches on to a lovely long ball, beats defender Hughes by controlling brilliantly, and lashes a stunning half-volley past the outstretched Taylor.
    • 66' SUPERB CHANCE FOR NORTHERN IRELAND!!! HOW DID THEY NOT SCORE? A cross in from Healy is totally mis-controlled by the Slovak defence and Paterson latches on to it with a great volley that draws a great save.
    • 65' Goalscorer Sestak comes off, and Filip Holosko will replace him.
    • 64' Lovely efforts by Weiss up the right wing, but he's ultimately well-tackled by Evans.
    • 63' This has been breathless stuff, but still we're awaiting that equaliser...
    • 62' Northern Ireland straight back in to the attack now, but Weiss tackles Evans well to stop the move in its tracks.
    • 61' Slovakia hit on the break, with Skrtel running the length of the pitch... this looks dangerous! But Stoch is well tackled and the danger cleared.
    • 60' McCann whips it in, and it's headed out for another corner... but this time a diving punch from Mucha helps the visitors clear the danger.
    • 59' Corner to Northern Ireland won by Healy! Lord knows what Worthington said to them all at half time - perhaps he just gave them tot of whiskey each - but they've been superb in this second period. The corner leads to another...
    • 58' Slovakia have hardly had a touch in the first quarter of an hour of this second half, and if the hosts keep the pressure up like they are at the moment then an equaliser must surely come.
    • 57' The ball is whipped in well, but Jonny Evans is peanlised for a bit of shirt tugging in the box - the ref has at least been ruthlessly consistent with his decisions on that offence, he has let absolutely nothing go.
    • 56' This time the free-kick is given on the right, and Clingan will take...
    • 55' Northern Ireland stay patient, hanging on to teh ball brilliantly... and Johnson wins a free kick on the right as he's taken down. But no! The ref says the Slovak defender got the ball! Clearly not a patron of Specsavers...
    • 54' Another good move up from the hosts, Northern Ireland putting in cross after cross - and Slovakia are on the ropes!
    • 53' The hosts on fire now! Brilliant corss from Johnson is chested down by Davis and Burnley striker Paterson is so close to pouncing before the whistle goes for a push!
    • 52' Another great chance for Paterson puts him in, but he's penalised for a push on one of the defenders - just as well, since his half-volley shot is a woeful slice.
    • 51' That was a close call for the visitors, and Northern Ireland have twice come closer to opening up Slovakia in this half than they did in the first.
    • 50' GREAT CHANCE FOR NORTHERN IRELAND! A nice header in from McCann beats Skrtel, but just as Paterson looks set to pounce keeper Mucha charges in to clear!
    • 49' First chance of the second half and it's a great cross by Steve Davis for Paterson - but though he gets to it first he can only head well over the bar.
    • 48' Sammy Clingan lucky to escape a booking after taking out Robert Vittek - only the Slovakian's ridiculous dive (trying to make a good thing look great) saved the Northern Ireland man a yellow.
    • 47' Slovakia makes the early running in the second half with a a couple of speculative through-balls for Sestak to run on to.
    • 46' The second half kicks off, and two unchanged sides resume action.
    • 45'+1 And there's the whistle: Manchester City's 19-year-old winger Vladimir Weiss has been inspirational for the visitors and produced the bit of magic that gave them the lead. But Northern Ireland have looked good and enjoyed plenty of the ball - can they fight back in the second half?
    • 45'+1 The corner is cleared away, and it looks like that'll be the last meaningful move of the match.
    • 45' Paetrson gives the ball away in midfield to gift a chance to the visitors, and Martin Skrtel ends up winning a corner off Jonny Evans.
    • 44' Nigel Worthington is looking concerned, but his men have looked solid in this last spell. All the need is a bit more effective penetration and a chance will surely fall.
    • 43' A throw for Northern Ireland up on the right hand side, but Healy is well tackled and the chance goes. Slovakia now haven't been in the Northern Ireland box for a good ten minutes.
    • 41' Weiss - son of the manager, who played for Czechoslovakia in the 1990 World Cup - still looks lively up the right and has been the pick of the bunch do far from either side.
    • 40' It's swung in well but Johnson raises his foot too high for the ref's liking and concedes a free kick straight back. That's a good opening missed just when the hosts could have really done with a goal.
    • 39' Terrible foul on Healy by Zabavnik and it's a free kick from the right - a real chance, surely...
    • 38' Goalscorer Sestak takes a slight knock in an aerial collision with Stephen Craigan, but after a couple of minutes decides he's only winded and will play on.
    • 37' Northern Ireland keep on charging up field, but the blue shirts just continue soaking up the pressure.
    • 35' The Slovaks are just sitting back a little now and hitting on the break, sapping the hosts' strength as they try to make something happen giong forwards.
    • 33' It'll be a tough one for Nigel Worthington to figure out a half-time strategy because the hosts really need something out of this match if at all possible. Does he change things round or keep faith with the side that was so impressive at the weekend?
    • 32' Kopunek is lurking in midfield and comes through to have a long-range effort, but it's charged down by Evans.
    • 31' Northern Ireland are continuing to make a lot of the running here, but Slovakia have plenty of skill when they get the ball and look capable of adding another goal on any of their breaks up field.
    • 30' After a bit of penalty box pinball Damien Johnson finally gets in a shot, but it's deflected safely away.
    • 29' Craigan pumps it in to the box, and the Slovaks can only clear just outside the box... Northern Irelang regain possession...
    • 28' Another free kick won for Northern Ireland...
    • 27' GREAT CHANCE FOR NORTHERN IRELAND! A nicely-worked move from the free-kick gives David Healy a clear sight of goal, and though he hits it well his effort carves a yard wide of the right post.
    • 26' Northern Ireland win another free kick on the left and Craigan sweeps it in nicely, but it's cleared away... only for Sestak to foul pointlessly on the edge of the box!
    • 25' Craigan clears the danger, and the hosts break upfield - a good cross from Johnson finds McAuley on the far post, but his head back is pointless as there are no attackers in the box.
    • 24' Slovakia surge forward once more, and again it's Weiss looking livelier than a rucksack of electric eels.
    • 23' The corner is good but it's headed clear and Stoch sprints upfield on the break - but with nobody in support he is closed down by three Northern Ireland defenders who have tracked back well.
    • 22' Free kick for Northern Ireland from the left edge as Evans is fouled by Weiss.
    • 21' Slovakia's corner is poor and the danger is cleared.
    • 20' Sestak seems through the back, but Aaron Hughes makes a saving clearance... corner for Slovakia.
    • 19' A long ball upfield by Clingan sees Martin Paterson chasing upfield to catch it, but he is beaten to it by Pekarik.
    • 18' A high boot in the box from goalscorer Sestak catches Evans right in the face, and earns a booking for the Slovak striker.
    • 17' Vladimir Weiss makes another good run down the right, and Sammy Clingan resorts to shirt pulling to stop him - and goes in the book for his efforts...
    • 16' That's a disaster for Northern Ireland, who had made a good start - the marking was poor though, it has to be said, and that's a tribute to the speed of Weiss's brilliant run...
    • 15' GOAL FOR SLOVAKIA!!!! A stunning run up the right from winger Weiss ends with an inch-perfect cross to the waiting Stanislav Sestak, who walks the ball in unmarked from the edge of the six yard box!
    • 14' The game calms down its pace a little as the visitors hold on to the ball in the centre of the park.
    • 13' Robert Vittek makes a great run and looks certain to shoot from the edge of the box, but Jonny Evans slides in clears the ball with perfect timing!
    • 12' The hosts have had the better of this so far, but Slovakia have shown enterprise as well - this looks like being a close one...
    • 11' McCann puts in a cross to the far edge of the box - and Damien Johnson is there.... but his header loops weak and wide.
    • 10' Weiss lines up to have a crack from 30 yards, but once again the Northern Ireland defence cut him off before he can do so as three men descend upon the midfielder.
    • 10' The Slovaks are pinging the ball left and right across the pitch, but the well-organised green shirts are always in the right place to cut danger out so far.
    • 9' Miroslav Stoch takes it, but Hughes climbs well to head clear.
    • 8' Davis now concedes a free kick in a dangerous spot... Slovakia will curl it in...
    • 7' The kick is taken quickly by Davis, but there's no-one in the box and it's wasted.
    • 6' Free kick conceded by Slovakia up the left flank.
    • 5' The ball is spun in well, but it's straight to a pair of blue shirts. Northern Ireland win a throw, but Paterson misdirects his cross and it's a goal kick.
    • 4' Northern Ireland win a throw far up the pitch... McAuley takes it, and Slovakia give away a corner... McCann to take.
    • 3' Slovakia win a corner, but it's well taken by Malk Taylor and the danger is clear.
    • 2' First shot of the match falls to David Healy, who gets one away from the edge of the box - but it's straight at keeper Jan Mucha.
    • 2' Northern Ireland haven't been in the finals of a major tournament since the 1986 World Cup - but Slovakia have never been in a tournament. Mind you, they didn't even exist as a separate nation back in 1986...
    • 1' Slovakia, dressed head to toe in blue, get the match under way.
    • - SO come on then folks - don't be shy, let us know your predictions for the match in the comments box below...
    • - The national anthems ring out - the Slovakian one is an awesome, dramatic tune that sounds like the incidental music from the climactic scenes of a Hollywood action movie. Genius!
    • - Nigel Worthington has said pre-match that he's been more concerned with calming the players down than trying to motivate them - but it doesn't seem to have worked. They look pumped up and raring to go!
    • - The players file out of the tunnel and onto the edge of the pitch - the atmosphere is incredible already - AND NOW THEY COME OUT ONTO THE PITCH! THE CROWD ARE GOING MAD!
    • - The crowd are fully in party mood already, with plenty of dancing and chanting in the stands as kick-off draws closer...
    • - Should the hosts lose tonight, however, they'll face a tough trip to the Czech Republic next month with qualification in the balance... Click here to see all the results and fixtures.
    • - Northern Ireland have taken 10 points out of 12 at Windsor Park in this qualifying campaign so far. And considering that they ran tonight's opponents close last year - losing just 2-1 in Bratislava - they will surely fancy their hopes of getting a result.
    • - Slovakia: Mucha, Strba, Pekarik, Skrtel, Zabavnik, Durica, Weiss, Kopunek, Sestak, Stoch, Vittek. Subs: Kamenar, Cech, Holosko, Jendrisek, Pecalka, Salata.
    • - THE TEAMS ARE IN: Northern Ireland: Taylor, McAuley, Craigan, Hughes, Evans, Johnson, McCann, Clingan, Davis, Paterson, Healy. Subs: Tuffey, McGivern, Baird, McGinn, Ward, Brunt, Kee
    • - We're getting nervous now - this could be one of the great nights in Northern Ireland's footballing history. Can they do it? Course they can! And they deserve too as well. Read the Early Doors verdict on Northern Ireland.
    • - NORN IRON TEAM NEWS: Kyle Lafferty and Warren Feeney are out injured, so Burnley's Martin Paterson should start. Chris Brunt and Chris Baird both return, though, which gives them a huge boost defensively and in midfield. More here!
    • - If Northern Ireland win they, remarkably, will top Group 3, although Slovakia, Slovenia and Poland will have a game in hand. They have a fighting chance of qualifying automatically from a group that also contains Czech Republic, but if Slovakia win they are pretty much guaranteed a play-off place and considerably closer to winning the group.
    • - The wildly over-achieving Northern Irish host Group 3 leaders Slovakia tonight at Windsor Park, LIVE on Eurosport-Yahoo! from 7:45pm!
  • Summary

    • 90'+2 SAPARA RATTLES THE BAR! A stunning shot from the fresh-legged sub again very nearly gives the visitors a flattering third goal.
    • 88' Holosko wastes a brilliant chance to make it three! He shoots from a narrow angle in on the keeper when a pass to the waiting Vittek would have guaranteed a goal!
    • 81' More incredible footwork from Weiss sees him turn and leave the defence for dead, but his powerful strike flies just high and wide of the top left corner.
    • 78' Fantastic chance for Weiss to cap his display - his first-half display, at any rate - with a goal as he is free and clear by the penalty spot, but McAuley slide-tackles brilliantly to save an almost certain third goal.
    • 71' GREAT CHANCE FOR THE HOSTS! Substitute Niall McGinn almost scores with a lovely lobbed effort that hits the top-right edge of the crossbar!
    • 67' HEARTBREAK FOR NORTHERN IRELAND!!!!! Slovakia score on the break, and totally againsdt the run of play, as Filip Holosko latches on to a lovely long ball, beats defender Hughes by controlling brilliantly, and lashes a stunning half-volley past the outstretched Taylor.
    • 66' SUPERB CHANCE FOR NORTHERN IRELAND!!! HOW DID THEY NOT SCORE? A cross in from Healy is totally mis-controlled by the Slovak defence and Paterson latches on to it with a great volley that draws a great save.
    • 60' McCann whips it in, and it's headed out for another corner... but this time a diving punch from Mucha helps the visitors clear the danger.
    • 55' Northern Ireland stay patient, hanging on to teh ball brilliantly... and Johnson wins a free kick on the right as he's taken down. But no! The ref says the Slovak defender got the ball! Clearly not a patron of Specsavers...
    • 53' The hosts on fire now! Brilliant corss from Johnson is chested down by Davis and Burnley striker Paterson is so close to pouncing before the whistle goes for a push!
    • 50' GREAT CHANCE FOR NORTHERN IRELAND! A nice header in from McCann beats Skrtel, but just as Paterson looks set to pounce keeper Mucha charges in to clear!
    • 49' First chance of the second half and it's a great cross by Steve Davis for Paterson - but though he gets to it first he can only head well over the bar.
    • 30' After a bit of penalty box pinball Damien Johnson finally gets in a shot, but it's deflected safely away.
    • 27' GREAT CHANCE FOR NORTHERN IRELAND! A nicely-worked move from the free-kick gives David Healy a clear sight of goal, and though he hits it well his effort carves a yard wide of the right post.
    • 15' GOAL FOR SLOVAKIA!!!! A stunning run up the right from winger Weiss ends with an inch-perfect cross to the waiting Stanislav Sestak, who walks the ball in unmarked from the edge of the six yard box!
    • 13' Robert Vittek makes a great run and looks certain to shoot from the edge of the box, but Jonny Evans slides in clears the ball with perfect timing!
    • 11' McCann puts in a cross to the far edge of the box - and Damien Johnson is there.... but his header loops weak and wide.
    • - SO come on then folks - don't be shy, let us know your predictions for the match in the comments box below...
    • - THE TEAMS ARE IN: Northern Ireland: Taylor, McAuley, Craigan, Hughes, Evans, Johnson, McCann, Clingan, Davis, Paterson, Healy. Subs: Tuffey, McGivern, Baird, McGinn, Ward, Brunt, Kee
    • - The wildly over-achieving Northern Irish host Group 3 leaders Slovakia tonight at Windsor Park, LIVE on Eurosport-Yahoo! from 7:45pm!

Live Team Line-Up

  • Northern Ireland

    Manager: Nigel Worthington

    Captain: Aaron Hughes

    Starting line-up

    • M. Taylor
    • G. McAuley
    • S. Craigan
    • A. Hughes
    • J. Evans
    • G. McCann Substitution Out (70′)
    • S. Clingan Yellow Card Substitution Out (70′)
    • D. Johnson
    • S. Davis
    • M. Paterson Substitution Out (76′)
    • D. Healy Yellow Card

    Subs

    • C. Baird Substitution In70′
    • C. Brunt Substitution In76′
    • N. McGinn Substitution In70′
    • J. Tuffey
    • J. Ward
    • R. McGivern
    • B. Kee

    Injured

    None

    Suspended

    None

  • Slovakia

    Manager: Vladimír Weiss

    Starting line-up

    • J. Mucha
    • P. Pekarík
    • M. Škrtel
    • J. Durica
    • R. Zabavník
    • Z. Štrba
    • K. Kopúnek
    • V. Weiss Substitution Out (90′)
    • M. Stoch Substitution Out (80′)
    • S. Šesták Goal Yellow Card Substitution Out (65′)
    • R. Vittek

    Subs

    • M. Cech
    • F. Hološko Substitution In65′ Goal
    • L. Kamenar
    • E. Jendrišek Substitution In80′
    • M. Sapara Substitution In90′
    • M. Pecalka
    • K. Saláta

    Injured

    None

    Suspended

    None

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