N Ireland vs Germany
European Qualifiers Group C
7:45pm Monday 9th September
Northern Ireland suffered their first defeat of the Euro 2020 qualifying campaign as Marcel Halstenberg’s thunderbolt delivered Germany on their way to a win in Belfast.
The very first of four crunch fixtures against the powerhouses of Group C – Northern Ireland face The Netherlands in Rotterdam next – finished in defeat following Serge Gnabry rolled in a second in stoppage time, however the 18,000 fans packed in to Windsor Park will barely have been defeated given their side’s screen.
Michael O’Neill’s men played with heart and want since they were roared on by a boisterous crowd, but Germany quality saw them take charge after the separation.
The opening goal was a minute of pure quality as Halstenberg fulfilled Lukas Klostermann’s deep cross with a powerful half-volley that flew past Bailey Peacock-Farrell.
Northern Ireland analyzed the resolve of Germany in the wake of the devoting four second-half aims in defeat on the Netherlands on Friday night. They definitely looked unnerved from the opening exchanges since Northern Ireland poured although the Germans have never lost qualifiers.
Conor Washington poked over in the sixth minute and was then denied by a good save from Manuel Neuer.
Germany began to take the bite as they created chances of their own and hogged ownership, with George Saville carrying.
A dramatic end to the first half then followed. Stuart Dallas’ low cross triggered a goalmouth scramble but Neuer arose with the ball while Peacock-Farrell created a point-blank save from Werner since Germany tried to hit them as Washington couldn’t stretch far enough.
But for all Northern Ireland work from the first halfof Germany had only 3 minutes to open the scoring at the second. Peacock-Farrell had already made a good save to deny Klostermann at the opening moments but there was nothing he can do when Halstenberg and Klostermann’s heavy cross minutes met with afterwards.
It might have been minutes later while Gnabry poked the ball just wide by a counter-attack before Klostermann fired over about the followup but the Burnley stopper refused Brandt.
Germany have been in full flow today and Peacock-Farrell made an excellent save to drive the low shot of Werner just following a neat combination with Marco Reus.
Northern Ireland had to regroup, but were screaming for a penalty when Paddy McNair saw Dallas fire wide from the cross of replacement Gavin Whyte, and hit the deck on the hour.
O’Neill threw on Josh Magennis and young Linfield striker Shayne Lavery in the closing stages but they struggled to make an impact and it was Gnabry who had the last say, beating the offside trap and then Peacock-Farrell out of a tight angle at the third minute of time .
Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill felt some chances were missed by that his side since they suffered a 2-0 defeat in their Euro 2020 Qualifier to Germany.
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