Northern Ireland kept their European Championship dreams alive with a dramatic charge shootout win over Bosnia and Herzegovina after a 1-1 attract typical time.
The visitors took full advantage of goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell’s penalty saving competence as he stopped a spot-kick from Haris Hajradinovic, with alternative Liam Boyce scoring to protect a place in the play-off finals against Slovakia.
The hosts made an electrical start as the fantastic Miralem Pjanic pulled all the strings in midfield, sending the Northern Irish backline this way and that on a slippery pitch.
A slip did cost the visitors when Jonny Evans fell, leaving Branimir Cipetic in space behind the defence. The left-back discovered Rade Krunic eight backyards out, and the midfielder properly slot previous Peacock-Farrell.
The visitors nearly reacted right away when Corrie Evans selected Josh Magennis inside the box. Bosnian shot-stopper Ibrahim Sehic pulled off a remarkable diving save to keep his side ahead.
George Saville likewise went close to an equaliser prior to half-time, blasting over from close range. Pjanic also had chances for Bosnia and was a constant pain in the first 45, however the momentum was with the visitors.
Northern Ireland flew into the second half and struck a been worthy of equaliser when John McGinn latched on to a Josh Magennis header, gunning previous Sehic.
Minutes later, they could have taken the lead through a Paddy McNair header, but the video game was end-to-end as both goalkeepers made wise saves within minutes of the equaliser.
Josh Magennis of Northern Ireland wins the ball versus Bosnia and Herzegovina
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Both sides committed males forward and Bosnia started to control again as Pjanic, Eden Dzeko and Edin Visca created exceptional possibilities. Extra-time was needed after there was nothing to separate the two sides in 90 minutes.
Alternative Jordan Thompson and Visca had actually efforts saved as extra-time proved as frenzied as typical time, but neither side had the legs to score a winner and it required a penalty shootout to settle it.
GUY OF THE MATCH
Miralem Pjanic (Bosnia and Herzegovina). Pjanic was here, there and everywhere for Bosnia and was by far the very best gamer on the pitch. He will be unfortunate not to feature at next summertime’s European Championships.
Northern Ireland made of metal. You ‘d have wager your home on Bosnia winning this one after a very first 15 minutes where Northern Ireland looked utterly insipid.
However the opening goal brought the Green and White army to life, and the visitors battled their way out of a corner and back into the game. Each gamer revealed nerves of steels on a slippery pitch in hostile conditions in front of a loud house assistance.
From defence to attack everybody did their task brilliantly and they leave Bosnia deserving of their place in the play-off last. They had ice in their veins throughout the shootout, and will expensive their possibilities against Slovakia in November.
Northern Ireland Steven Davis tussles for ownership against Bosnia and Herzegovina
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Bosnia XI: Sehic 7, Cipetic 7, Ahmedhodzic 6, Sanicanin 6, Kolasinac 7, Cimirot 6, Hadziahmetovic 7, Pjanic 8, Visca 7, Dzeko 6, Krunic 7. Subs Gojak 6, Hotic 6, Loncar 5, Hajradinovic n/a.
Northern Ireland XI: Peacock-Farrell 7, McNair 7, J Evans 6, Cathcart 6, Lewis 6, C Evans 7, Dallas 7, Davis 6, Saville 6, McGinn 7, Magennis 6. Subs Whyte 6, Jones 6, Thompson 7, Lafferty 5, Boyce n/a, Washington n/a.
14′ – OBJECTIVE! BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA 1-0 NORTHERN IRELAND (Krunic). Bosnia have the lead they are worthy of and Northern Ireland are at sixes and sevens again.Jonny Evans slips this time and Cipetic has an easy pull-back for Krunic who slots home from eight yards out for his 2nd worldwide objective.
15′ – FANTASTIC CONSERVE! What a reaction that would have been!Corrie Evans picks out Magennis and it’s a simply fantastic save from Sehic.
45 1′ – CLOSE! Northern Ireland might and perhaps ought to be level as Saville enters on the volley but blasts over via a deflection.
54′ – GOAL! BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA 1-1 NORTHERN IRELAND (McGinn). The dream is alive!Magennis wins a header up leading and tears down for McGinn. The Aston Villa guy has a stroke of luck as the ball bounces off the backline prior to he strikes house previous Sehic.Game on!
58′ – It is absolute carnage out there! At one end, Peacock-Farrell pulls off a brilliant save. At the other, Saville requires a great save too!
62′ – BAR! Pjanic smacks the bar from a free-kick! Northern Ireland endure!
70′ – Far too simple for Bosnia and Dzeko need to score as the Northern Ireland backline lose all interaction. Cathcart and the ‘keeper were not on the same wavelength.
94′ – SAVE! Bosnia simply withdraw and off and Thompson – who carried on about 40 backyards – rifles at Sehic who makes a fantastic save.
Steven Davis made his 120 th worldwide appearance for Northern Ireland, a brand-new record.
Northern Ireland captain Steven Davis
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