International Friendlies
Northern Ireland1New Zealand0

International friendly: Northern Ireland 1-0 New Zealand

Liam Boyce fires home his first international goal in the Belfast game against New Zealand
Liam Boyce fires home against New Zealand in the Windsor Park friendly on Friday night

Liam Boyce scored his first Northern Ireland goal to secure a friendly win over New Zealand in Belfast.

The Ross County striker cut inside before rifling low into the net after six minutes and the hosts dominated the remainder of the first half.

New Zealand finally posed a threat after the break with substitute Kosta Barbarouses denied by the woodwork.

It was a deserved victory and a good workout for next week's crucial World Cup qualifier against Azerbaijan.

Boyce jinked past his marker with a step-over and his left-foot strike whistled past a flat-footed Stefan Marinovic.

Northern Ireland should have added to their advantage but an improved All Whites side almost clinched a draw when Barbarouses curled his post onto the post.

Welcome dilemma for O'Neill

The absence of Conor Washington and Jamie Ward gave Boyce and Josh Magennis a chance to shine in attack and they impressed in their 45 minutes together.

All eyes were on Boyce after top scoring in the Scottish Premiership last season and he linked up with Magennis for the only goal.

Liam Boyce and Josh Magennis impressed in their first-half partnership
Liam Boyce and Josh Magennis impressed in their first-half partnership

They complemented each other to form a promising partnership which gives boss Michael O'Neill a selection headache for the Baku qualifier.

Azerbaijan will provide a tougher test and O'Neill may pack the midfield with just one up top.

Tom Flanagan had a solid debut in defence although his mistake let in Barbarouses for New Zealand's best opportunity.

There was also a first appearance for forward Shay McCartan as he replaced Magennis with seven minutes left.

Man-of-the-match - Josh Magennis

The big forward squandered a few openings but he was a constant menace to the visitors and showed he is much more than a physical force.

Two early efforts were saved while tireless running saw him dispossess Tommy Smith before his angled drive was blocked by Marinovic.

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O'Neill pleased with win over New Zealand

His pinpoint cross was poked wide by substitute Kyle Lafferty early in the second half before he headed just wide.

Magennis has just one goal in 28 appearances but he offers so much to the team and is expected to lead the line against Azerbaijan.

The heat is on

O'Neill is taking the squad for warm-weather training in Turkey to acclimatise for possible stifling conditions in next Saturday's Group C game.

The eight-day gap between the matches also gives defensive duo Gareth McAuley and Craig Carthcart time to regain full fitness.

Northern Ireland lie second, five points behind Germany but on course for the play-off spot.

Line-ups

Northern Ireland

  • 1McGovernSubstituted forCarrollat 84'minutes
  • 6Flanagan
  • 18Hughes
  • 5Evans
  • 16Norwood
  • 2McLaughlin
  • 17LundSubstituted forDavisat 45'minutes
  • 11BruntSubstituted forFergusonat 45'minutes
  • 14DallasSubstituted forPatonat 74'minutes
  • 9BoyceSubstituted forLaffertyat 45'minutes
  • 21MagennisSubstituted forMcCartanat 83'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Ferguson
  • 4Thompson
  • 7McGinn
  • 8Davis
  • 10Lafferty
  • 12Mannus
  • 15Paton
  • 19McCartan
  • 20Lafferty
  • 23Carroll

New Zealand

  • 1Marinovic
  • 5Boxall
  • 22DuranteBooked at 87mins
  • 20Smith
  • 18ColveySubstituted forBarbarousesat 63'minutes
  • 15LewisSubstituted forTuilomaat 45'minutes
  • 8McGlinchey
  • 14ThomasSubstituted forSmeltzat 79'minutes
  • 17DoyleSubstituted forWynneat 72'minutes
  • 11RojasSubstituted forPattersonat 63'minutes
  • 9Wood

Substitutes

  • 2Brotherton
  • 3Wynne
  • 4Tzimopoulos
  • 6Tuiloma
  • 7Barbarouses
  • 10Smeltz
  • 12Moss
  • 13Patterson
  • 16Ingham
  • 19Rufer
  • 21Roux
  • 23Williams
Referee:
Laurent Kopriwa

Match Stats

Home TeamNorthern IrelandAway TeamNew Zealand
Possession
Home50%
Away50%
Shots
Home11
Away3
Shots on Target
Home5
Away0
Corners
Home4
Away0
Fouls
Home15
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, Northern Ireland 1, New Zealand 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Northern Ireland 1, New Zealand 0.

Foul by Tom Flanagan (Northern Ireland).

Monty Patterson (New Zealand) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Offside, New Zealand. Michael Boxall tries a through ball, but Chris Wood is caught offside.

Attempt saved. Oliver Norwood (Northern Ireland) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Shane Ferguson.

Attempt blocked. Shay McCartan (Northern Ireland) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Booking

Andrew Durante (New Zealand) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Shay McCartan (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Andrew Durante (New Zealand).

Foul by Paul Paton (Northern Ireland).

Shane Smeltz (New Zealand) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Northern Ireland. Roy Carroll replaces Michael McGovern.

Substitution

Substitution, Northern Ireland. Shay McCartan replaces Josh Magennis.

Offside, Northern Ireland. Paul Paton tries a through ball, but Aaron Hughes is caught offside.

Attempt missed. Paul Paton (Northern Ireland) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.

Oliver Norwood (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Michael Boxall (New Zealand).

Substitution

Substitution, New Zealand. Shane Smeltz replaces Ryan Thomas.

Foul by Tom Flanagan (Northern Ireland).

Chris Wood (New Zealand) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Substitution

Substitution, Northern Ireland. Paul Paton replaces Stuart Dallas.

Foul by Oliver Norwood (Northern Ireland).

Ryan Thomas (New Zealand) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Offside, New Zealand. Michael Boxall tries a through ball, but Chris Wood is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, New Zealand. Deklan Wynne replaces Tom Doyle.

Aaron Hughes (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Kosta Barbarouses (New Zealand).

Kosta Barbarouses (New Zealand) hits the right post with a right footed shot from the left side of the box.

Offside, New Zealand. Bill Poni Tuiloma tries a through ball, but Tom Doyle is caught offside.

Attempt missed. Josh Magennis (Northern Ireland) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Shane Ferguson with a cross.

Tom Flanagan (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Kosta Barbarouses (New Zealand).

Shane Ferguson (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Michael Boxall (New Zealand).

Substitution

Substitution, New Zealand. Kosta Barbarouses replaces Kip Colvey.

Substitution

Substitution, New Zealand. Monty Patterson replaces Marco Rojas.

Offside, New Zealand. Bill Poni Tuiloma tries a through ball, but Chris Wood is caught offside.

Offside, Northern Ireland. Michael McGovern tries a through ball, but Josh Magennis is caught offside.

Offside, New Zealand. Andrew Durante tries a through ball, but Chris Wood is caught offside.

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