Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Azerbaijan 1 - Northern Ireland 1

Belfast was the site for the final Brasil 2014 match of 2012 with Azerbaijan paying a visit to Northern Ireland.  The miserable foggy night was indicative of the miserable fog that was to come for the hosts on headed chances.  The hosts nearly went ahead in the third minute when Niall McGinn's cross found Kyle Lafferty five yards from goal, but Lafferty blasted his header over the bar.  Two minutes later, the visitors found a goal via a wonder strike by Rauf Aliyev.  He was well marked and put under pressure from thirty yards, but he curled the ball around his defender and into the corner out of reach of the diving goalkeeper.    On the half hour, the hosts managed to hit three headers inside the box in succession only to see Craig Cathcart head wide with the goal at his mercy.  Azerbaijan took their 1-0 lead into the break.

The hosts remained in the ascendancy in the second period, but a well-hit cross by Shane Ferguson was inexplicably headed down wide of the net by Christopher Baird.  Northern Irish fans around the stadium surely must have felt that their side were going to lose until a free kick opportunity from just outside the box presented itself.  David Healy dribbled a simple shot around a six-person wall and into the net without much trouble, leaving the knowledgeable observer wondering how the wall could have been so poorly positioned.  The final whistle blew with the final score a 1-1 draw.

Russia 12 pts +8
Israel 7 pts +5
Portugal 7 pts +3
N. Ireland 3 pts -2
Azerbaijan 2 pts -4
Luxembourg 1 pts -10

Rauf Aliyev 5

Northern Ireland
David Healy 90+6

Match Reports:


1 comment:

Rufiniano Maldonado said...

Bad result for both, they needed a victory to get into the competition, know they are almost out of it and the remainder of the group is a little bit less interesting.