World Cup Qualifying - European - Group C
Azerbaijan0Northern Ireland1

World Cup 2018: Azerbaijan 0-1 Northern Ireland

Stuart Dallas celebrates scoring his last-gasp goal against Azerbaijan
Stuart Dallas celebrates scoring his last-gasp goal against Azerbaijan

Stuart Dallas struck an injury-time winner as Northern Ireland beat Azerbaijan in a World Cup qualifier to boost their hopes of making the finals.

The midfielder fired low into the net in a hot and humid Baku after the hosts squandered three good openings.

Ramil Sheydaev fired over when clear through in the first half before Afran Ismayilov wasted two opportunities.

NI withstood pressure before Dallas scored and they are now four points clear in second place in Group C.

Azerbaijan looked the more likely to score a late goal but they were punished as Dallas fired home from a Jonny Evans pass.

Northern Ireland have increased the gap on third-placed Czech Republic, who were held to a 1-1 by Norway in Oslo, and are on course for a play-off spot.

Group leaders Germany thumped San Marino 7-0 with the world champions maintaining a five-point cushion to Michael O'Neill's side.

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NI boss Michael O'Neill reflects on a crucial 1-0 win away to Azerbaijan

McAuley blow for visitors

Gareth McAuley missed last week's friendly win over New Zealand with a thigh injury, which returned at the worst possible time for Northern Ireland.

The West Brom defender slowed up with the injury on 23 minutes, allowing Sheydaev to race through on goal but he lifted the ball over both the advancing Michael McGovern and the bar.

Gareth McAuley receives treatment before limping off in the Baku qualifier
Gareth McAuley was replaced by Niall McGinn

McAuley was forced off and boss O'Neill switched from a 3-5-2 formation to 4-3-3, a move which disrupted the visitors' rhythm and left Liam Boyce isolated in attack.

It also resulted in a more vulnerable defence, particularly in the second half, while the set-piece threat of McAuley was gone.

Man of the match - Stuart Dallas

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Stuart Dallas delighted with winning goal for Northern Ireland

The Leeds midfielder provided late drama with a clinical finish and what could prove to be a crucial goal in Northern Ireland's bid for a first World Cup finals appearance since 1986.

Dallas put in a solid display before latching on to a fine cut-back from Evans and stretching to guide the ball pass keeper Kamran Agayev.

Christ Brunt impressed in the first half with his pin-point deliveries, finding Evans and Josh Magennis, who both headed off-target.

He also curled a teasing cross which just evaded the sliding Boyce but the West Brom player struggled at left-back in the second half.

He twice let in Ismayilov, who saw a low shot saved by McGovern before blazing over after going clear on the right.

What's next?

Four qualifiers remain for Northern Ireland, starting with an away game against bottom side San Marino on 1 September.

Four days later, they face a crunch Belfast meeting with the Czechs in the battle for the play-off place.

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'First time I have felt bad for the other team' - says NI's Jonny Evans

Line-ups

Azerbaijan

  • 1Aghayev
  • 5MedvedevBooked at 56mins
  • 6Huseynov
  • 14Sadiqov
  • 4Pashaev
  • 16HuseynovBooked at 56mins
  • 2GarayevBooked at 66mins
  • 20Almeida de Oliveira
  • 22IsmayilovSubstituted forAmirguliyevat 84'minutes
  • 11SheydaevSubstituted forOglu Abdullayevat 90'minutes
  • 13NazarovSubstituted forAlasgarovat 77'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Mirzabekov
  • 7Oglu Abdullayev
  • 8Pascual Israfilov
  • 9Alasgarov
  • 10Gurbanov
  • 12Nazirov
  • 15Abisov
  • 17Makhmudov
  • 18Ramazanov
  • 19Amirguliyev
  • 21Quliyev
  • 23Agayev

Northern Ireland

  • 1McGovern
  • 2McLaughlin
  • 18Hughes
  • 4McAuleySubstituted forMcGinnat 25'minutesSubstituted forHodsonat 86'minutes
  • 5Evans
  • 14Dallas
  • 8DavisBooked at 80mins
  • 16Norwood
  • 11Brunt
  • 21MagennisBooked at 73mins
  • 9BoyceSubstituted forLaffertyat 77'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Ferguson
  • 6Flanagan
  • 7McGinn
  • 10Lafferty
  • 12Mannus
  • 13Lafferty
  • 15Paton
  • 17Lund
  • 19McCartan
  • 20Hodson
  • 22Thompson
  • 23Carroll
Referee:
Javier Estrada Fernández
Attendance:
27,978

Match Stats

Home TeamAzerbaijanAway TeamNorthern Ireland
Possession
Home67%
Away33%
Shots
Home9
Away6
Shots on Target
Home2
Away2
Corners
Home2
Away3
Fouls
Home12
Away9

Live Text

Match ends, Azerbaijan 0, Northern Ireland 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Azerbaijan 0, Northern Ireland 1.

Attempt blocked. Richard Almeida (Azerbaijan) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Cavid Huseynov.

Goal!

Goal! Azerbaijan 0, Northern Ireland 1. Stuart Dallas (Northern Ireland) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Jonny Evans.

Substitution

Substitution, Azerbaijan. Araz Abdullayev replaces Ramil Sheydaev.

Substitution

Substitution, Northern Ireland. Lee Hodson replaces Niall McGinn.

Attempt missed. Cavid Huseynov (Azerbaijan) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right misses to the right. Assisted by Richard Almeida with a cross.

Substitution

Substitution, Azerbaijan. Rahid Amirguliyev replaces Afran Ismayilov.

Attempt missed. Afran Ismayilov (Azerbaijan) right footed shot from the right side of the box is too high. Assisted by Richard Almeida with a through ball.

Booking

Steven Davis (Northern Ireland) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Richard Almeida (Azerbaijan) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Steven Davis (Northern Ireland).

Foul by Gara Garayev (Azerbaijan).

Kyle Lafferty (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Northern Ireland. Kyle Lafferty replaces Liam Boyce.

Substitution

Substitution, Azerbaijan. Namig Alasgarov replaces Dimitrij Nazarov.

Attempt saved. Josh Magennis (Northern Ireland) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Oliver Norwood with a cross.

Corner, Northern Ireland. Conceded by Maksim Medvedev.

Foul by Gara Garayev (Azerbaijan).

Liam Boyce (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Booking

Josh Magennis (Northern Ireland) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Gara Garayev (Azerbaijan) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Josh Magennis (Northern Ireland).

Offside, Azerbaijan. Richard Almeida tries a through ball, but Afran Ismayilov is caught offside.

Attempt missed. Richard Almeida (Azerbaijan) right footed shot from the centre of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Afran Ismayilov.

Attempt blocked. Ramil Sheydaev (Azerbaijan) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Afran Ismayilov.

Corner, Northern Ireland. Conceded by Badavi Huseynov.

Pavlo Pashaev (Azerbaijan) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Steven Davis (Northern Ireland).

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Liam Boyce (Northern Ireland) because of an injury.

Booking

Gara Garayev (Azerbaijan) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Gara Garayev (Azerbaijan).

Liam Boyce (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Cavid Huseynov (Azerbaijan).

Stuart Dallas (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Azerbaijan. Conceded by Chris Brunt.

Attempt saved. Afran Ismayilov (Azerbaijan) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Richard Almeida.

Attempt missed. Oliver Norwood (Northern Ireland) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left.

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

goal

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Sweden6411124813
2France6411115613
3Netherlands6312136710
4Bulgaria6303912-39
5Belarus6123411-75
6Luxembourg6015617-111

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Switzerland6600123918
2Portugal65012231915
3Hungary62138717
4Faroe Islands6123210-85
5Andorra6114213-114
6Latvia6105212-103

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Germany66002712618
2Northern Ireland6411112913
3Czech Rep62319549
4Azerbaijan621339-67
5Norway6114610-44
6San Marino6006130-290

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Serbia5320126611
2R. of Ireland532073411
3Wales51408447
4Austria52128717
5Georgia502348-42
6Moldova5014213-111

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Poland6510157816
2Montenegro6312147710
3Denmark6312106410
4Romania61327706
5Armenia6204714-76
6Kazakhstan6024416-122

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1England6420102814
2Slovakia6402124812
3Slovenia632163311
4Scotland6222910-18
5Lithuania6123611-55
6Malta6006215-130

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Spain54101921713
2Italy5410134913
3Israel53029909
4Albania520348-46
5Macedonia5104711-43
6Liechtenstein5005119-180

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Belgium65102422216
2Greece6330103712
3Bos-Herze6321135811
4Cyprus621359-47
5Estonia6114517-124
6Gibraltar6006324-210

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Croatia54101111013
2Iceland531186210
3Ukraine52217438
4Turkey52217528
5Finland501438-51
6Kosovo5014214-121
View full World Cup Qualifying - European tables

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