29/04/1981 Belfast Portugal 1-0 Gerry Armstrong
Pat Jennings, Jimmy Nicholl, Sammy Nelson, Chris Nicholl, John O’Neill, David McCreery, Terry Cochrane, Martin O’Neill, Billy Hamilton, Gerry Armstrong, Sammy McIlroy
A glancing header by Gerry Armstrong on 73 gave Northern Ireland a huge victory to lift them above Portugal into 2nd place in Group Six. Minutes earlier, the game had been held up after a Portuguese player was injured by a coin thrown from the crowd which struck him on the back of the head, the referee indicated that he was prepared to abandon the match if there was any repetition.
Portugal came to Belfast, unbeaten and yet to concede. Again the Irish left it to the last 20 minutes to score but the goal contained a slight comedic effect from the visitors. Sammy Nelson’s left wing free-kick into the box looked to be going out for a goal-kick when Terry Cochrane scrambled to keep it in. His cross into the 6-yard box was headed in by Gerry Armstrong. Armstrong was able to head in unchallenged as the Portuguese keeper, Bento, ran into one of his own defenders when attempting to claim the cross. It was Portugal’s 3rd trip to Belfast and they had yet to come away with a win. Armstrong was the first player to breech the Portuguese defence in this group and opened things up for the two home nations.
Terry Cochrane: “It was against Portugal at Windsor Park and we needed to win. I took the ball down the wing and crossed for Gerry Armstrong who banged it in. It was a very proud moment.”
29/04/1964 Belfast Uruguay 3-0 Johnny Crossan (2), Sammy Wilson
Pat Jennings, Jimmy Magill, Alex Elder, Martin Harvey, Terry Neill, Billy McCullough, Johnny Crossan, Sammy Wilson, Jimmy McLaughlin, Bobby Braithwaite, George Best
Pat Jennings and George Best made their Windsor Park debuts for Northern Ireland after making their full debuts against Wales in Wrexham 14 days earlier.
Johnny Crossan scored two goals from the penalty spot as Uruguay became the first South American visitors to Windsor Park.