04/06/2016 Trnava Slovakia 0-0
Michael McGovern, Craig Cathcart (Aaron Hughes), Gareth McAuley, Jonny Evans, Jamie Ward (Josh Magennis ), Steven Davis, Paddy McNair (Conor McLaughlin), Chris Baird, Oliver Norwood (Corry Evans), Shane Ferguson (Lee Hodson), Kyle Lafferty (Conor Washington)
Northern Ireland would go into Euro 2016 on the back of a record 12-match unbeaten run after drawing away to fellow finalists Slovakia in Trnava.
Former captain Aaron Hughes won his 100th cap as a 30th-minute substitute for defender Craig Cathcart who hobbled off injured after being fouled.
04/06/1994 Boston Colombia 0-2
Tommy Wright, Gary Fleming, Nigel Worthington, Gerry Taggart, Mal Donaghy, Jim Magilton (Robbie Dennison), Kevin Wilson (Steve Lomas), Steve Morrow, Jimmy Quinn (George O’Boyle), Iain Dowie (Darren Patterson), Michael Hughes
This was a warm up match for Colombia prior to the USA World Cup of 1994, Northern Ireland having failed to qualify. After 30 minutes Columbia took the lead after a free kick was awarded when Mal Donaghy fouled Adolfo Valencia. Wilson Perez took the free-kick from 18 yards out and scored into upper left corner of Tommy Wright’s net.
On 44 minutes Columbia doubled their lead when Faustino Asprilla passed to Valencia who was inside the Northern Irish penalty area and he subsequently turned and scored close to the right post.
Northern Ireland were set up defensively by manager Bryan Hamilton and never troubled the Colombian defence.
* Trivia –
Andres Escobar played against Northern Ireland in a star studded Colombian team along with Freddy Rincón, Carlos Valderrama and Faustino Asprilla. Only a few weeks later on 22nd June, Escobar scored an infamous own goal in Colombia’s second World Cup match against the United States. Stretching to cut out a pass from United States midfielder John Harkes, he deflected the ball into his own net. The United States won the game 2–1, and as a result, the heavily favoured Colombian side was eliminated from the tournament in the first round. On the 2nd July Escobar was shot and killed in Medellín, Colombia. It is widely believed that he was murdered due to his own goal in that game, which supposedly would have caused gambling losses to several powerful drug lords.
Bryan Hamilton (Northern Ireland Manager) –
“Columbia are a wonderful side. They showed their class in the first half. It’s a learning process for us. Columbia are geared up for the World Cup. I thought we played well. The team played very hard tonight.”
“In the first half, we gave them too much room and too much freedom. In the second half we closed them down and that’s why we held them to a nil-nil tie.”
“[Carlos] Valderrama is a world-class player. He had a great touch and will be one of the success stories of the World Cup.”