Ukraine became the first team to get knocked out of the Euro 2016 tournament. Their loss to Northern Ireland combined with the draw between Germany and Poland meant that Ukraine with no points from two games can book their bags now. Pouring rain in Lyon on Thursday evening didn’t deter Northern Ireland from posting a historic win.
The historic win for Northern Ireland was their maiden victory in European Championships and came courtesy of second-half goals from Gareth McAuley and Niall McGinn. Michael O’Neill decided to shake his team making five changes to the XI that lost to Poland and the changes had their desired effect.
Northern Ireland was the one which played with more purpose through the first half. And it was no surprise when they went ahead early in the second half. Ukraine tried testing their opponents late in the game but it was too little too late to stop the loss.
This result combined with that in the one between Germany and Poland makes Group C very interesting. While Poland and Germany top the group on four points, Northern Ireland are just behind on three points. Northern Ireland take on Germany which could be a very interesting shootout.
Player of the game
Northern Ireland have become a very sturdy team under Michael O’Neill with their defensive displays making them one of the toughest teams to play against. Gareth McAuley has already endeared himself to the Green and White army with strong displays in the recent games. And another sound defensive display was topped with a brilliant header to give Northern Ireland the lead. The West Bromwich Albion defender has certainly kept his team in contention for knock-out places.