12/08/2009 Belfast Israel 1-1 Grant McCann
Maik Taylor (Jonathan Tuffey), Chris Baird, Stephen Craigan, Aaron Hughes (Gareth McAuley), George McCartney, Damien Johnson (Niall McGinn), Sammy Clingan (Ryan McGivern), Grant McCann, Chris Brunt (Steven Davis), Kyle Lafferty, David Healy (Martin Paterson)
10,000 greeted the players in Windsor Park, giving the match a special atmosphere. 7 Minutes into the game Israel had a 1st attempt on goal, when Yadin’s shot was stopped by Maik Taylor.
10 minutes later Northern Ireland took the lead. Grant McCann was fouled 20 meters from goal. McCann himself stepped up, and shot a ball that went past Aouate.
Only 9 minutes passed, and Israel was back in the game. Roberto Colautti found Baruchyan, who sent a precise pass across goal, which found Barda who equalized. After the goal Israel assumed control of the field, and 36 minutes into the first half almost took the lead, when Tamir Cohen’s header was saved from the line.
The first chance in the second half came after 69 minutes, when Baruchyan shot wide after an excellent pass by substitute, Salim Toama. Israel was close to a late winner, but Colautti’s shot 10 minutes from time was stopped by Jonathan Tuffey.
Northern Ireland: Taylor, Baird, Craigan, Hughes, McCartney, Johnson, Clingan, McCann, Brunt, Healy, Lafferty.
Israel: Aouate (Davidovic 46), Meshumar, Keinan (Ben Haim 46), Strul (Mori 71), Ben Dayan, Cohen (Kayal 46), Baruchian, Benayoun (Toama 54), Yadin (Ziv 65), Barda, Colautti.
Nigel Worthington (Northern Ireland Manager) –
“Niall McGinn did terrifically well – he got us up the pitch and used his pace and ability. There were lots of pluses and one or two little mistakes but it was good to get the players back and refocused.”
“Martin Paterson worked hard and was solid, Steven Davis was outstanding in the second half and young Jonathan Tuffey made a good save. The group is getting stronger and that is good for the team. I’m pleased with the exercise, that’s five unbeaten and let’s hope we come back from Poland making it six.”
“Just because David has not scored as frequently as before does not mean we discard him – he has been a magnificent player for Northern Ireland. We have to support and help him, and when he scores again he will be off and running. But there’s other people there, we can mix and match and we had two or three permutations up front which will be required in the qualifiers.”