Northern Ireland hold Azzurri

Former world champions Italy were held to a goalless draw against Northern Ireland in a Euro 2012 qualifier at Windsor Park on Friday night.

Last Updated: 08/10/10 at 22:08 Post Comment

Healy: Heads wide of the post

Healy: Heads wide of the post

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Following a 1-0 victory against Slovenia last month, Nigel Worthington's side picked up a useful point.

Worthington could not hide his delight at the final whistle in front of a capacity crowd and it could have been even better had David Healy not squandered a great chance in the first half.

However there was much to be cheerful about - not least the performances from goalkeeper Maik Taylor and defenders Aaron Hughes and Stephen Craigan.

They built a solid wall and Italy were left frustrated following victories against Estonia and the Faroe Islands

With a feverish crowd behind them Northern Ireland won a corner in the eighth minute and that got a roar of approval.

Grant McCann swung the ball in and goalkeeper Emiliano Viviano punched it clear under pressure. It broke to Chris Brunt, who mis-kicked but the game came to a halt following a foul on the goalkeeper.

Italy launched a swift counter-attack in the 13th minute and Domenico Criscito broke clear only to drag his shot across the face of the area and wide of the post.

Back came Northern Ireland and Brunt tried his luck from distance following a short free-kick by Steven Davis but his effort was blocked.

It was an even game at this stage and Simone Pepe got into a good position. However he miscued his shot in front of goal and failed to test veteran goalkeeper Maik Taylor.

Northern Ireland squandered a great chance of taking the lead in the 31st minute following a deep cross from the right by Brunt to the far post. Healy was the first to react but sent his header the wrong side of the post when it seemed he must score.

Italy suddenly broke down the middle. Borriello was left with a one-on-one with Taylor only for the goalkeeper to stand tall and block his close-range drive.

The rebound fell at the feet of Antonio Cassano but he curled a shot wide of the post.

Northern Ireland then had a penalty appeal waved away by French referee Tony Chapron after Daniele De Rossi appeared to handle the ball in the area.

There was more entertainment from the crowd than on the pitch with both sides creating few chances.

However Borriello found himself in space in the 62nd minute but he failed to trouble Taylor as his finish was weak.

Worthington then made his first change in the 66th minute when Healy was replaced by Kyle Lafferty.

The Rangers striker came into the game in a good run of form after scoring in the victory against Hearts at the weekend and a hat-trick in the defeat of Dunfermline.

Lafferty quickly won a corner and McCann flighted the ball in only to see it safely taken by the goalkeeper.

Northern Ireland were playing with a degree of confidence and Feeney saw a header narrowly clear the bar in the 72nd minute.

Two minutes later it was Italy's turn to go close when Antonio Cassano's effort was superbly tipped over by Taylor.

Substitute Giampaolo Pazzini could have sealed it for Italy in the 86th minute but wasted the chance and headed wide of the post. Then in a rousing finish Davis saw his shot parried by the goalkeeper after a one-two with substitute Niall McGinn.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

More Match Results

Sunday, 16 November 2014
19:45
Bulgaria 1-1 Malta  
Czech Rep 2-1 Iceland Report
Israel 3-0 Bos&Herz Report
Italy 1-1 Croatia Report
Turkey 3-1 Kazakhstan  
17:00
Azerbaijan 0-1 Norway  
Belgium 0-0 Wales Report
Cyprus 5-0 Andorra Report
Holland 6-0 Latvia Report
Saturday, 15 November 2014
19:45
Macedonia 0-2 Slovakia  

Footer 365

Premier League: Manchester City midfielder Fernandinho believes the title race is still wide open

Fernandinho is remaining positive over Manchester City's title chances despite losing a 2-0 lead to Burnley.

Barclays Premier League: Frank de Boer's agent denies talk of move to Newcastle

Frank de Boer, who has been linked with Newcastle, is staying with Ajax, his agent has told Sky Sports News HQ.

Scottish football: Hibs have announced fans will own 51 per cent of shares in the club

Hibernian have announced that supporters will have the opportunity to own 51 per cent of the shares in the club.

Mail Box

Hang On, Does Mourinho Have A Point?

Jose Mourinho has an unexpected ally in the afternoon mailbox, which defends his complaints over refs targeting Chelsea players. Plus, thoughts on Arsenal and more...

What's Happened To Everton And Martinez?

There aren't many people still talking about how the Spaniard is better than David Moyes. Plus, thoughts on Jose Mourinho's moaning and Spurs at least being very fit...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property