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Tuesday 26 Mar 2024
Northern Ireland defeat Scotland in Glasgow

Northern Ireland produced another fine display to defeat Scotland by a goal to nil in an international challenge match at Hampden Park this evening.

An excellent goal from Conor Bradley - his first for his country - secured the victory in front of just over 33,000 fans in Glasgow.

Scotland were eager to bounce back after losing 4-0 to the Netherlands in a friendly in Amsterdam on Friday, while Northern Ireland were aiming to build on their encouraging 1-1 draw against Romania at the weekend.

Scotland had lots of possession throughout but could not find a way past Northern Ireland’s defensive wall.

It was another energetic and encouraging performance from O’Neill’s side against a Euro 2024-bound Scotland team who have now failed to register a victory in seven matches.

Although they had to soak up pressure for long spells, the visitors always looked dangerous on the counter attack.

O’Neill made three changes from the team that started the 1-1 draw against Romania. Bailey Peacock-Farrell, Alistair McCann and Daniel Ballard came in for Conor Hazard, Paddy Lane and Jordan Thompson.

The first chance in the friendly fell to Scotland, midfielder Ryan Christie curling a shot just past the post.

Another midfielder, Scott McTominay, had a shot from a free-kick blocked as the home side upped the ante.

Scotland striker Lyndon Dykes and Northern Ireland captain Paddy McNair tussled for a ball which was eventually patted away by Northern Ireland keeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell.

The visitors’ defence had to work hard in the opening half hour as Scotland tried to penetrate deep into their territory.

On 32 minutes Northern Ireland took the lead against the run of play. Brodie Spencer and Conor Bradley closed down Scotland full-back Nathan Patterson close to his own goal. The defender tried to clear the ball but hit it straight to Bradley who slipped past a couple of defenders before curling the ball superbly into the top corner from 16 yards. It took a deflection off Scotland defender Jack Hendry but it was an absolute belter.

Ten minutes later Isaac Price found Bradley with a long pass as he raced forward from deep. He in turn slipped the ball to Shea Charles and his curler from 16 yards went inches past the post.

Scotland defender Kieran Tierney fired in a dangerous cross which dropped wide of the far post and then McTominay unleashed a shot from distance which flew past the post.

After the break Scotland quickly pressed for an equaliser, with Peacock-Farrell gathering in a cross from captain John McGinn and a low cross from Patterson.

Striker Jamie Reid fired a shot wide of the target as the visitors launched another attack. And Price placed a shot well wide.

Just after the hour mark McGinn whipped in a free-kick which was headed wide by centre back Liam Cooper before a Tierney cross was met by substitute Lewis Ferguson. His header was comfortably saved by Peacock-Farrell.

The Northern Ireland keeper and Daniel Ballard combined to thwart Ferguson as he threatened once again.

On 78 minutes substitute Stuart Armstrong, earning his 50th cap, fired in a dangerous free-kick which was cleared via the combined efforts of Spencer and Price.

Scotland turned the screw in the closing stages but found Northern Ireland’s blanket defence impossible to break down.

In the 88th minute Northern Ireland substitute Conor McMenamin fired a cross into the area but it was easily collected by Angus Gunn.

A minute later Peacock-Farrell produced a fine fingertip save to keep out a Ferguson header – and that was enough to ensure his team secured the win.

Scotland: Angus Gunn, Jack Hendry, Andy Robertson (captain), Liam Cooper, Nathan Patterson, Kieran Tierney, John McGinn, Billy Gilmour, Lyndon Dykes, Scott McTominay, Ryan Christie.

Substitutes: Liam Kelly (GK), Zander Clark (GK), Craig Gordon (GK), Anthony Ralston, Che Adams, Ryan Porteous, John Souttar, Stuart Armstrong, Lawrence Shankland, Lewis Ferguson, Greg Taylor, Kenny McLean.

Northern Ireland: Bailey Peacock-Farrell, Trai Hume, Brodie Spencer, Daniel Ballard, Eoin Toal, Paddy McNair (captain), Conor Bradley, Shea Charles, Jamie Reid, Isaac Price, Alistair McCann.

Substitutes: (used) Josh Magennis, Conor McMenamin, Paul Smyth, Jordan Thompson; (unused) Conor Hazard, Luke Southwood, Aaron Donnelly, Callum Marshall, Shayne Lavery, Paddy Lane, Caolan Boyd-Munce, Ciaron Brown.