21/09/1983 Belfast Austria 3-1 Billy Hamilton, Norman Whiteside, Martin O’Neill
Pat Jennings, Paul Ramsey, Mal Donaghy, Chris Nicholl, John McClelland, Ian Stewart, Norman Whiteside, Martin O’Neill, Billy Hamilton, Gerry Armstrong, Sammy McIlroy
Pat Jennings made his 100th appearance for Northern Ireland while Leicester City’s Paul Ramsey made his debut in the green jersey. Billy Hamilton put the Irish ahead on 28 from a yard out at the end of a corner, Norman Whiteside made it 2-0 on 67 after intercepting a weak back pass and rounding the keeper, Felix Gasselich pulled one back for the visitors on 83 with a near post flick but Martin O’Neill secured the vital points on 89 by powering in a 35 yard free-kick. The win moved the Irish level on points with Austria who remained top on goal difference, West Germany were 4 points behind in 3rd but had two games in hand.
21/09/1977 Belfast Iceland 2-0 Chris McGrath, Sammy McIlroy
Pat Jennings, Pat Rice, Sammy Nelson, Allan Hunter, Jimmy Nicholl, Trevor Anderson, David McCreery, Martin O’Neill, Chris McGrath, Sammy McIlroy, George Best
George Best made his first appearance in seven years in front of a Belfast crowd. The Irish won with two 2nd half goals, Chris McGrath at the end of a half cleared corner on 62 and Sammy McIlroy heading in a cross by Martin O’Neill on 79.
Danny Blanchflower criticised the Iceland team afterwards; “This was not the way I would have played in the circumstances, they only came to save their face, not to entertain, but I suppose that’s the name of the game today. We should have won by four or five goals but we have not got someone able to snap up the chances in the box.”