Northern Ireland Claim Key Win against San Marino
After managing only a draw from the opening group match, Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill was pleased to see his team get a much expected win against San Marino in the latest group match.
Northern Ireland were involved in a goalless draw against Czech Republic on the opening day. However, they bounced back from this disappointing result in the best possible fashion after scoring four against San Marino. Admittedly, the opposition are considered as minnows in the global game but it still takes effort to come up with four goals.
Kyle Lafferty managed to come up from the bench and score two goals. He remains as one of the best players in the books of Northern Ireland and O’Neill was pleased to see him score a brace ahead of the meeting with Germany a few days later. Germany remain the biggest team in this group and not just as the world champions. Overcoming the reigning world champions will be a major task, but O’Neill is expected to be confident due to the opposition’s recent struggles. Defending goals has been a major problem for Germany and Ireland can take advantage with some better final balls.
Northern Ireland could have scored much more against San Marino had it been for clinical finishing, according to O’Neill."There were a lot of good things and I'm delighted with the score. However, our final ball was poor at times and players know things could have been better - and our standards will have to be higher on Tuesday. It was a difficult decision to leave Kyle out but he has only played 45 minutes for Norwich since the Czech Republic game last month. I'm delighted for him to get the goals and his attitude was great,” said O’Neill after the national team’s first win in the group stages.