Windsor Park

Next Game

N Ireland v Finland

Sunday, 29 March 2015, 17:00

European Qualifiers Group F

Last Game

Scotland 1 - 0 N Ireland

Wednesday, 25 March 2015, 19:45

International Match

O'Neill rues duo's dismissals

Michael O'Neill admitted the dismissals of Chris Brunt and substitute Kyle Lafferty ultimately cost Northern Ireland against Portugal on Friday night.

Last Updated: 07/09/13 at 13:07 Post Comment

More of the games that matter

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

The hosts were on course to upset the odds - as they had done in Porto when they claimed a 1-1 draw in their previous Group F meeting - after Gareth McAuley and Jamie Ward netted following Bruno Alves' opener for the 10-man visitors, who had Helder Postiga sent off just before half-time.

However, Brunt saw red on the hour mark before Cristiano Ronaldo stole the show with a fantastic second-half hat-trick to give Portugal a 4-2 win at Windsor Park.

Lafferty was also dismissed with the score at 3-2 10 minutes from time and O'Neill admitted that was a hammer blow to their hopes of upsetting the Group F leaders.

In control

"I thought up until 60 minutes and Chris Brunt's sending off, we were the better team and in control of the game," O'Neill told Sky Sports.

"I thought they scored against the run of play and we responded well to that having gone into our shell a little bit.

"But then obviously the second sending off left us that man short and subsequently we weren't able to deal with that.

"You take the performance of the team, particularly for 60-65 minutes, I thought the energy and the shape of the team was very good.

"We were playing here against one of the top sides in Europe and people have to recognise that."

Ronaldo revenge

Real Madrid forward Ronaldo had his revenge on the Northern Ireland side that spoiled the occasion of his 100th cap last October with a phenomenal display to keep Portugal top of the group ahead of Russia.

"Certainly at the end of the day he showed his class tonight," added O'Neill.

"On the night we're disappointed we've got ourselves into a winning position and circumstances conspired against us."

More of the games that matter

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

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

G

ood grief. Someone guessed that the form English player at the moment might be in his national side with some other players? And that's espionage? Now if they discovered that Emile Heskey was going to be in the starting line up.... at right back.... THAT would be espionage. Give it a rest Roy.

RogerRedHat
Hodgson hits out at Kane leak

H

e may get away with if Liverpool can swap the video with one of Skrtel dancing or something, but if they review the one shown on TV he's screwed.

hump3.
Skrtel denies violent conduct

G

ive him 10 crosses and he'll head 8 of them over the bar.

tk421
Where Does Giroud Rank In Premier League?

Footer 365

Burnley's Sean Dyche hoping Spain trip will prove positive

Burnley boss Sean Dyche hopes the squad's break in Spain will have the same effect a similar trip did last season.

Sunderland progressing under Dick Advocaat says Steven Fletcher

Steven Fletcher is feeling optimistic for the rest of Sunderland's season because of the impact Dick Advocaat has made.

Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge suffers hip 'muscle tear'

Daniel Sturridge could be out for a month after Roy Hodgson revealed the Liverpool striker had suffered a ‘slight muscle tear’.

Mail Box

Ripe Robin Still Has A Role To Play...

There is some support for the aging Robin van Perise in a frankly threadbare Mailbox. Also, more debate over homegrown players, with a suggestion of an import tax...

Cry Me A River, Diego Costa...

There's little sympathy for Diego Costa, while one mailboxer has had enough of football by numbers. There's also an invitation to visit Colombia and an ode to Woan...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company