Friday September 3, 2010 Group Stage: Group C Finished Ljudski vrt

Slovenia 0 - 1 Northern Ireland

  • Evans 70’

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  1. Euro 2012 qual. - Evans earns Northern Ireland win

    Euro 2012 qual. - Evans earns Northern Ireland win

    Young substitute Corry Evans was the match-winner for Northern Ireland as their resolute defending ensured a 1-0 win over Slovenia. More

  • Live Commentary

    Time:90'
    • Slovenia
    • Northern Ireland
    • 90+4' It's all over - fantastic win for Nigel Worthington's men!
    • 90+4' Subsitute Matavs is stretching for the ball and blazes over - nervy moments.
    • 90+3' Gorman, at the other end of the field, clears the ball way up the field to annoyance of Kez on the Slovenian bench.
    • 90+2' Gorman hassles the Slovenian backline to kill some more time.
    • 90+1' Four minutes for Northern Ireland to see out. Four minutes for Slovenia to find an equaliser.
    • 90' Yet another block, this time from captain Stephen Craigan, denies Aleksandar Radosavljevic from a speculative late goal.
    • 89' SUBSTITUTION: Youngster John Gorman comes on for Chris Brunt.
    • 88' SUBSTITUTION: Ljubijankic comes off for Tim Matavz.
    • 86' Dangerous. Ljubijankic latches onto a through ball ahead of the onrushing Taylor, but he can only hit wide.
    • 85' Both Slovenian subs are proving a handful and Northern Ireland are counting down the clock.
    • 84' But the big man Lafferty is quickly booked for dissent.
    • 83' Great work from the eager Lafferty to force Slovenia into giving a throw in to Northern Ireland.
    • 81' That looked in at first. Ljubijankic gets in down the left and fires a shot into the side netting, with a majority of the crowd thinking the ball had hit the back of the net.
    • 80' Good work from Ljubijankic as he holds off Hughes before getting away a shot off balance that goes a foot or so wide of Taylor's right-hand post.
    • 79' Birsa plays a lovely chipped ball through to Dedic who nods it down to the onrushing Koren, but the former West Brom man can only blaze over. Good chance.
    • 78' All hands to the pump for Northern Ireland, as it has been since the 25th minute, if truth be told.
    • 77' Ilicic makes an instant impact as his drive is well-saved by Taylor and desperately cleared out of the away side's penalty area.
    • 76' Evans blasts away a clearance with Lafferty running his socks off up top.
    • 75' SUBSTITUTION: Kirm comes off for Josip Ilicic.
    • 74' SUBSTITUTION: Novakovic comes off for the pacey Zlatko Dedic.
    • 73' Northern Ireland's defence has kept the team in the game and this time Novakovic header is well gathered by Taylor.
    • 72' Slovenia's bench look shell-shocked and you have to hand it to Worthington as his subsitutions pay dividends.
    • 71' Slovenia look to react as they race forward with Birsa.
    • 70' GOAL! Substitute Evans has given Northern Ireland the lead as he nips in round the back of the Slovenia defence to latch onto Cathcart's cross across the the home side's six-yard box and slot in to the back of the net.
    • 69' Healy's lack of football in the last few seasons has clearly taken its toll as he reportedly went off with severe cramp.
    • 68' Lafferty looks to make his mark instantly, getting in down the left.
    • 67' SUBSTITUTION: Evans replaces McCann.
    • 67' SUBSTITUTION: Lafferty replaces Healy.
    • 66' Healy is struggling and looks to be coming off.
    • 65' Ljubijankic tries to find his strike partner Novakovic inside the area, but again it's cleared for a corner. And again, the corner is hacked away by the resolute Northern Irish backline.
    • 64' Corry Evans, younger brother of the injured Jonny, is receiving some instructions from Worthington on the bench.
    • 63' Birsa wins a free-kick down near the right-corner flag and his delivery is again cleared. The ball comes back in to the onrushing Mavric who can't quite reach the ball.
    • 61' Once again, some last-ditch defending from Northern Ireland prevent Slovenia from taking the lead. This time, Baird throws his body in the way of Kirm's shot.
    • 60' Slovenia have dominated the second half.
    • 58' Healy, who hasn't scored for two years on the international scene, hits a shot straight into Handanovic's arms.
    • 58' Cesar is unhappy with some of Healy's antics, with the Northern Irishman going in late on the goalkeeper.
    • 57' Northern Ireland are having to withstand some heavy pressure, but to be fair, they're holding firm. But for how long?
    • 56' Ljubijankic goes close again as his flicked header comes off Hughes and goes out for another corner kick. Birsa's delivery is cleared well.
    • 55' Baird is back up and running. Northern Ireland are going to need him in this half, that's for sure.
    • 54' Baird has gone down off the ball but the referee waves play on. Slovenia sportingly put the ball out.
    • 53' It's a corner to Slovenia as Northern Ireland look extremely nervy at the back.
    • 52' Birsa is set away down the right through a superb crossfield ball, but the left-footed creator can only deliver a ball straight at Aaron Hughes.
    • 51' Northern Ireland have carried on where they left off - deep in their half and chasing the ball.
    • 50' Nice play from Slovenia. Koren's neat header is played onto to Novakovic before being clearred for a throw.
    • 49' Cathcart puts in a crucial deflection to prevent Birsa from giving Slovenia the lead as his strike goes just wide of the post and out for a corner.
    • 48' Brunt's foul gives away a free-kick 35 yards out, which Birsa fires straight down Taylor's throat.
    • 47' Caution for Brunt. Poor challenge on Kirm is rightfully punished, although the Slovenian went down fairly theatrically.
    • 47' An early free-kick is given away by Baird but Kirm's delivery is a poor one.
    • 46' We're back underway.
    • 45+1' And that is half time. Worthington has to get his side playing like they did in the first 20 minutes.
    • 45+1' And they have one minute to see out.
    • 45' Worthington's side are hanging on for half time.
    • 44' Somehow Northern Ireland keep it at 0-0 as Kirm's shot across goal is deflected wide. Very nervy.
    • 43' Ljubijankic again finds his way into the box and fires a shot wide of the near post - yet another good chance for the Slovenian forward.
    • 42' McCann's corner is disappointing and easily collected by Handanovic.
    • 42' Cesar gives another corner away as he heads out a long ball.
    • 41' Davis and Baird have been particularly busy in the centre of midfield.
    • 39' Make-shift left-back Cathcart blasts a ball up the field and out for a throw - a sign of how Northern Ireland have changed their approach throughout the half.
    • 38' Another great chance for Slovenia. Kirm's pinpoint delivery is headed by Ljubijankic straight at Taylor - the big man should have done better.
    • 37' Worthington's side look a little toothless upfront with Slovenia's huge backline dominating the pint-sized duo of Feeney and Healy.
    • 36' It's another long-distance strike from Birsa - he hasn't done anything yet, but Northern Ireland need to heed the warning.
    • 35' Birsa is employing a shoot-on-sight policy and his long-range effort is deflected a couple of times before comfortably being collected by Taylor.
    • 34' Slovenia are seeing a lot more of the ball and Northern Ireland seem to be reverting more to a counter-attacking team.
    • 33' An enthusiastic Davis takes his chances in his own area by tackling Ljubijankic, but it's a fair challenge and good play from the Rangers man.
    • 32' Interesting tactic by Kez. Birsa, arguably Slovenia's best player but left-footed, has been deployed on the right-hand side to take on Cathcart.
    • 31' Free-kick to Northern Ireland midway through their own half as Kirm goes in late on Chris Brunt.
    • 30' Feeney remonstrates with the linesman as the Oldham striker is penalised for a shirt-pull on Mavric.
    • 29' Kirm tries a long-range shot but it's well blocked. Speculative efforts are occurring more and more frequently now.
    • 27' Healy tries an audacious curling effort from the left-hand side with the ball bouncing just in front of Handanovic, but the former Domzale man gathers it easily.
    • 26' Healy goes in the book for a high boot. The Sunderland man went for an overhead kick and ends up kicking Matej Mavric by mistake. Very harsh.
    • 25' Just past the midway point of the first period and Northern Ireland have shaded it.
    • 24' The Northen Irish front two are working so hard - Feeney and Healy are pressing the Slovenian defence for every blade of grass.
    • 23' Meanwhile in Group C, Serbia have beaten the Faroe Islands 3-0 while Italy are already one down in Estonia.
    • 22' Great chance for the home side. Zlatan Ljubijankic makes a good run down the left before fizzing the ball in for Birsa who initally tries a back-heeled flick that comes off the defender, before blazing the ball over from a few yards out under heavy pressure from Taylor.
    • 20' The Maribor crowd are in full voice as Slovenia start to knock the ball around better.
    • 19' Feeney looks to be away down the left but the offside flag is raised.
    • 18' Decent chance from Northern Ireland. The ball isn't cleared inside the Slovenian defence and Steven Davis has a shot blocked - the ball lands at Baird's feet but his shot flies wide.
    • 17' Healy loses the ball but Baird snaps at Kirm's heals and forces the Slovenian man into a wayward pass. Good work from the Fulham man.
    • 16' It's been a lively start here in Maribor, with goals looking likely for both teams.
    • 15' Cathcart has his pocket picked by Birsa who cuts inside and hits a cross-shot just wide of Taylor's right-hand post.
    • 14' Kirm takes the free-kick from about 35 yards out and the floated delivery should be finished by Millivoje Novakovic, but the striker is unable to get a touch and Maik Taylor gratefully clutches the ball.
    • 13' Fulham's Chris Baird gets a telling off for a late challenge on Andraz Kirm.
    • 12' McCann's ball in again has quality, but Handanovic manages to flap it away. It's headed back in but the Slovenia defence manage to hack it clear.
    • 11' It's yet another corner for the Worthington's side as Healy's tenacity is rewarded.
    • 9' Another corner to Northern Ireland which McCann swings in well - Cesar manages to clear under pressure from Gareth McAuley, and in the end the referee gives a free-kick for a foul by the Ipswich man.
    • 8' Cathcart has slotted in at left-back - a somewhat unfamiliar role for the centre-back - and it shows as Valter Birsa goes round him with ease.
    • 7' It's been all Northern Ireland so far, as the whistles of the Slovenian crowd attest to.
    • 6' McCann trotts over to take the corner and puts in a decent delivery which is headed away by Bostjan Cesar.
    • 5' Koren's foul allows McCann to take a free-kick from 25 yards out, which is deflected out for a corner.
    • 5' Koren puts in a very poor challenge on Feeney - that probably should have been a yellow card.
    • 4' Despite their possession, Worthington is already out of his seat, barking orders to his team.
    • 3' Decent possession already for Worthington's men.
    • 2' Feeney attempts to hook the ball into the penalty area but a calm Bojan Jokic controls the ball on his chest before clearing. Composed.
    • 1' The ball makes its way back to Handanovic who takes a few touches before blasting it down field.
    • 19:45 The referee blows the whistle and we're underway!
    • 19:43 Two minutes to kickoff. Northern Ireland have come close in recent times to qualifying for a major tournament, can this campaign be the one they finally crack it?
    • 19:42 The Slovenian crowd is full of red, white and blue scarves - in contrast to the green trim of the Slovenian players' tracksuits.
    • 19:41 God Save The Queen is belted out around the stadium.
    • 19:40 Worthington has controversially decided to leave Kyle Lafferty on the bench.
    • 19:37 So the two sides line up in very traditional style: it's 4-4-2 for both Worthington and counterpart Matjaz Kez' sides.
    • 19:34 The big news for Northern Ireland is that Manchester United defender Jonny Evans misses out through injury - a huge loss indeed.
    • 19:33 Estonia have also just kicked off against group favourites Italy - the Azzurri have recently changed their manager with Cesare Prandelli succeeding World Cup winner Marcello Lippi.
    • 19:30 This is the first match in the group for both sides, while the Faroe Islands have already lost 1-0 and 2-0 to Estonia and Serbia respectively.
    • 19:28 Players to look out for in the Slovenian side include Hull's latest signing Robert Koren and classy Udinese keeper Samir Handanovic - who could well prove to frustrate the Northern Irish strikers.
    • 19:25 So Cathcart makes his debut for the away side, with Northern Ireland goalscoring machine David Healy starting upfront with Warren Feeney.
    • 19:20 THE TEAMS ARE IN:
    • 19:20 SLOVENIA: Samir Handanovic, Brecko, Cesar, Jokic, Mavric, Birsa, Radosavljevic, Koren, Kirm, Novakovic, Ljubijankic. Subs: Jasmin Handanovic, Suler, Ilic, Dedic, Ilicic, Stevanovic, Matavz.
    • 19:20 NORTHERN IRELAND: Taylor, McAuley, Cathcart, Craigan, Baird, Davis, McCann, Hughes, Brunt, Healy, Feeney. Subs: Tuffey, Clingan, Corry Evans, Lafferty, Paterson, Patterson, Gorman.
    • 19:15 Blackpool defender Craig Cathcart, who signed for the newly-promoted side from Manchester United this summer, will be hoping to make the starting line-up.
    • 19:10 Before the game, Worthington said: "We know the importance of a good start as you are not then playing catch-up, which is always very important."
    • 19:00 45 minutes until kickoff and Nigel Worthington's side will be hoping for a good start to their campaign against the only team England managed to beat at the World Cup.
    • 18:45 Good evening and welcome to the Euro 2012 clash between Slovenia and Northern Ireland.
  • Summary

    • 70' GOAL! Substitute Evans has given Northern Ireland the lead as he nips in round the back of the Slovenia defence to latch onto Cathcart's cross across the the home side's six-yard box and slot in to the back of the net.
    • 19:34 The big news for Northern Ireland is that Manchester United defender Jonny Evans misses out through injury - a huge loss indeed.
    • 19:20 THE TEAMS ARE IN:

Team Line-up & Ratings

  • Slovenia

    Manager: Matjaz Kek

  • Northern Ireland

    Manager: Nigel Worthington

    Captain: Stephen Craigan

  • Line-up

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      Substitution Out75′ - -
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