Ukraine 0-2 Northern Ireland: McAuley and McGinn seal historic win

Ukraine 0-2 Northern Ireland: McAuley and McGinn seal historic win
Niall McGINN of Northern Ireland celerates scoring his goal during the UEFA EURO 2016 Group C match between Ukraine and Northern Ireland on June 16, 2016 in Decines-Charpieu, France. (Photo by Jean Paul Thomas/Icon Sport)

By Andy Hyslop

  • Paddy McNair drops to the bench after starting opening game
  • Northern Ireland include former United players Jonny Evans, Corey Evans and Oliver Norwood

Northern Ireland picked up three points with a 2-0 win against Ukraine in their second group game of Euro 2016.

The two sides lost their opening games and knew they would need a win to give themselves a good chance of qualifying for the last sixteen.

It would be Michael O’Neill’s team who took the spoils thanks to goal from Gareth McAuley and Niall McGinn.

O’Neill’s Men Make History

The win doesn’t just mean three points for Northern Ireland. It was also the countries first win in a major tournament since Gerry Armstrong’s goal beat Spain in 1982.

In context of this year’s tournament, it give O’Neill’s real hope of reaching the knockout stages. They currently sit on three points, level with both Poland and Germany who play later.

McAuley gave Ireland the lead shortly after half-time when headed home a free-kick delivered by Oliver Norwood.

On 58 minutes, play was suspended for a few minutes as the referee took the players off the pitch due to a hail storm over the stadium.

McGinn Seals Three points

Ukraine attempted to get back into the game once the players return to pitch but failed to create any real threats to the Northern Ireland lead.

This tournament has already had it’s fair share of late goals and this game saw another one as McGinn’s confirmed the three points with virtually the last kick.

Aberdeen winger was on hand to fire home in the last minute of stoppage time after the Ukrainian keeper was only able to palm a shot into McGinn’s path.

Michael O’Neill and his players will probably be hoping for a draw between Germany and Poland in the groups other game.

O’Neill’s team will face Germany in the final group game and will be looking to seal a top two finish or hope that they can be one of the best third placed teams.

About Andrew Hyslop 398 Articles

Creator of Sir Alex Ferguson Way and writer of football books

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