Michael O'Neill praises Northern Ireland spirit after win in Azerbaijan

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

Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill praised the spirit of his team after a vital 1-0 World Cup qualifying win away to Azerbaijan.

O'Neill's men looked to be hanging on for a 0-0 draw until Stuart Dallas snatched the victory in stoppage-time.

"Three, four years ago we would have lost this game 1-0 and people would not be surprised by that," said O'Neill.

"The result is testament to the spirit in the team. We stayed in the game, fought hard and got a lucky break."

Dallas' first competitive international goal earned the Northern Irish all three World Cup qualifying points when it looked like they would be fortunate to escape the stifling Baku heat with a draw.

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

They are second in Group C with 13 out of 18 points, and world champions Germany are the only team to have scored against them.

"It was an extremely tough game, as we knew it would be. Azerbaijan are a very good team," said O'Neill.

"It was a difficult for us, with the conditions and also with a number of our players who have not played for nearly six weeks.

"But we are grateful to get the result and I can understand Azerbaijan's frustration.

"Jonny Evans and Aaron Hughes were excellent at centre-back and for Jonny to find that composure in the box for the goal.

"Stuart did a huge amount of work in the game and showed great quality to finish as he did."

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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