Sep 10, 2013 at 7.15pm UK
Luxembourg
3-2
Northern Ireland
Joachim (45'), Bensi (78'), Jaenisch (88')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Paterson (14'), McAuley (82')
McAuley (90')

Live Commentary: Luxembourg 3-2 Northern Ireland - as it happened

Live Commentary: Luxembourg 3-2 NI - as it happened
© Getty Images
Sports Mole brings you live coverage of tonight's World Cup qualifying match between Luxembourg and Northern Ireland.

Luxembourg welcomed Northern Ireland to the Stade Josy Barthel this evening having won just three of their previous 122 World Cup qualifiers.

On the last occasion the Green and White Army travelled to Luxembourg, they won 3-1 and David Healy made his debut.

However, the story was far different tonight, as the hosts recorded a 3-2 win that will live long in their peoples' memory.

You can read how the action unfolded below.


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6.36pmGood evening! Welcome to Sports Mole for live text commentary of tonight's World Cup qualifier between Luxembourg and Northern Ireland.

6.38pmLet's start by giving you some team news. We'll kick off with the visitors...

6.40pmNORTHERN IRELAND: Carroll, Hodson, D. Lafferty, McAuley, Evans, McGinn, Davis, Paterson, Ferguson, Norwood, Ward

6.41pmLUXEMBOURG: Joubert, Laterza, Jans, Philipps, Janisch, Mutch, Gerson, Da Mota, Bensi, Turpel, Joachim

6.45pmNorthern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill is forced into making just the one change to his starting XI from Friday's clash with Portugal in Belfast. Daniel Lafferty comes in for the suspended Chris Brunt, meaning that once again there is no place for Chris Baird or Dene Shiels. Of course, Kyle Lafftery is also missing following his red card at Windsor Park.

6.50pmLuxembourg's lineup boasts just four players who ply their trade outside of the tiny country made up of amateurs - Lars Krogh Gerson (Norrkoping), Chris Philipps (Metz), Mario Mutsch (St Gallen) and Aurelien Joachim (Waalwijk). Apart from that, their team brings to mind the old phrase 'butchers, bakers and candlestick makers'.

6.55pmLed by Luc Holtz, the home side have lost all seven of their qualifiers so far, while conceding 17 goals and scoring just four. One of those goals came in a 1-1 draw between these two teams in Belfast a year ago. They will be sniffing what would be just their second competitive victory in 40 years.

7.03pmLast Friday's match with Portugal could have so easily ended with another famous victory for Northern Ireland. 2-1 up and with a man advantage at one point, the home side eventually fell to a 4-2 defeat. Cristiano Ronaldo's hat-trick spared Portuguese blushes, but the game arguably hinged on red cards shown to Chris Brunt and Kyle Lafferty.

7.08pmMichael O'Neill: "The pitch tonight is fantastic, so we'll have to pass the ball with a certain degree of confidence. We'll be looking for the same level of performance against Russia and Portugal."

7.12pmThe players are making their way onto the pitch. Just under five minutes until kickoff at Josy-Barthel.

7.13pmAround 3,000 Northern Irish fans have made the trip to Luxembourg, which far outnumbers the estimated 300 home fans is the stadium this evening.

7.14pmREFEREE: Robert Malek (Poland)

0 minNorthern Ireland get us underway at the Josy-Barthel...

1 minPhilipps nearly gifts Ward an opening with a slightly underhit backpass but Joubert manages to clear his lines before the Derby County man can charge him down.

2 minCross from Laterza goes towards the back post and Hodson is forced to head behind for the first corner of the evening. Mutch launches it in low, which is bread and butter for the Irish defence.

5 minSHOT! Da Mota has the first effort on goal but it's a wayward one. It's been quite a scrappy opening, the Luxembourg players aren't giving their opponents any time to dwell on the ball.

7 minNorthern Irish fans are bouncing up and down in the wet and cold of Luxembourg. Great support, this evening.

8 minSHOT! Space opens up for McGinn to have a dig but his tame effort bobbles wide without ever really troubling Joubert. Didn't quite get hold of that one.

9 minLovely build-up play from Northern Ireland, which allows McGinn acres of space on the right to deliver a cross to Paterson. However, he was always stretching for the header, which falls nicely for Joubert to claim.

10 minCHANCE! A good opportunity goes begging for the home side! It was Gerson who arrived in the box completely unmarked from a corner, but he flashes his header over the bar. Should have done better.

14 minGOAL! Luxembourg 0-1 Norther Ireland (Martin Paterson)

14 minSuper finish from Paterson! His first touch took his marker completely out of play and he confidently slammed the ball past Joubert as he bore down on goal. That'll settle a few nerves, as the home side have looked more than capable in these early stages.

17 minThe away fans are in full voice now. There's an argument that the goal came against the run of play, although the hosts have hardly dominated the early play. Shaded it, more like. Still, the game is quite scrappy and it's Ireland who lead.

20 minLaterza tries to find Da Mota down the right but asks just too much of the striker, who clatters into the advertising boards. He gets to his feet gingerly but looks OK to continue.

22 minCHANCE! Paterson threatens again, this time going for a chip after spotting Joubert off his line. However, the keeper watches it wide of the mark.

25 minSHOT! Mutsch drives forward and wins a free kick from Ward. He steps up to take it and catches it well, but the accuracy leaves a lot to be desired. It was a rasper, but well off target.

30 minOFF THE BAR! Wonderful effort from Gerson! Bensi teased Hodson down the right before teeing up his teammate, who beat Carroll with a curling effort but not the woodwork!

31 minFerguson and Norwood combine well down the left but the full-back's cross is easily cut out by the Luxembourg defence. They're able to break down the other end and win a corner from Jonny Evans. Nothing comes of it, though.

32 minWard is scythed down by Bensi and is lucky to be yellow carded. Niall McGinn is currently on the deck and it looks like he could be coming off...

35 minNORTHERN IRELAND SUB: Indeed, Niall McGinn does make way for Michael O'Connor, who strides on for his first international appearance in two years.

37 minTouchline reports indicate that McGinn is struggling with an ankle problem. He'll be a doubt for Aberdeen's trip to Partick Thistle on Saturday.

38 minSAVE! Carroll shows strong hands to beat away Bensi's powerful effort from the edge of the box. That was an absolute hammerblow from the winger, although it was straight at the keeper.

40 minWard shows nice feet to evade one tackle but his pass inside asks too much of Norwood. Sloppy play, indicative of the game so far.

42 minSHOT! Turpel unleashes a shot from around 30 yards out but it's straight at Carroll.

44 minJonny Evans cuts out a pass from Turpel and drives down the field, but his final ball out wide to Ward is poor. Ireland retain possession and eventually win a corner.

45 minFerguson swings it into the near post, but it's put behind for another corner. The second one is better placed but Joubert gets a fist to it. The ball only gets as far as Norwood on the edge of the area and his volley is blocked for another corner. Finally, Luxembourg clear their lines at the third attempt.

45+1 minGOAL! Luxembourg 1-1 Northern Ireland (Aurelien Joachim)

8.04pmHALF TIME: Luxembourg 1-1 Northern Ireland

8.06pmThat's a late blow for the visitors, who are caught by a quick break. It was Turpel who fed Joachim and his shot took a slight deflection off Hodson, which completely deceived Carroll.

8.10pmLUXEMBOURG STATS:
Shots:
9
Shots on target: 4
Possession: 45%
Corners: 3
Fouls 4
Yellow: 0
Red: 0

8.12pmNORTHERN IRELAND STATS:
Shots:
6
Shots on target: 2
Possession: 55%
Corners: 3
Fouls: 2
Yellow: 0
Red: 0

8.15pmYou can't really begrudge Luxembourg their equaliser, they definitely deserve to be level at the break. There haven't been many clear-cut chances tonight.

8.17pmGerson should have done better with an early header from a corner, and the one that came Northern Ireland's way was put away nicely by Paterson. It's been quite a scrappy game, as you'd expect.

45 minLuxembourg get the second half underway...

47 minLong throw from Janisch falls kindly for Mutsch, whose strike at goal is deflected for a corner. Ireland clear their lines but only as far as Bensi, who wins another corner.

49 minO'Connor chops down Da Mota, giving Mutsch the chance to pump the ball into the box. His delivery nearly finds Da Mota as the back post, but he can't quite get his head to the ball. Strong start to the second half from the home side.

50 minJoachim wins another corner for Luxembourg. It's taken short, and Joachim clips the ball to the near post, where Carroll should have easily dealt with it but instead fumbles it for another corner.

52 minBOOKING! The first yellow card of the evening goes to Luxembourg's goalscorer Aurelien Joachim for a late challenge on Gareth McAuley.

54 minPaterson nearly fashions a chance for Norwood thanks to sheer doggedness. He chased down a lost cause and retrieved the ball on the byline, but the Luxembourg defence got back in time to crowd Norwood out.

56 minINDIRECT FREE KICK! Carroll gets himself all in a muddle, although the backpass at chest height didn't help him much. Da Mota was quick to close Carroll down, forcing him to panic and pick the ball up. Luckily, it does not result in a goal, as Bensi raps an shot narrowly wide of the far post.

58 minNorwood stabs a free kick towards McAuley, who is unmarked inside the box, but his header back across goal is cleared. No-one gambled on the one. Luxembourg are well on top here, though.

59 minNorthern Ireland living life on the edge once again, as this time Laterza finds Bensi at the back post, but the winger couldn't quite bring the ball under control. Hodson gets across to hack clear.

60 minNORTHERN IRELAND SUB: Michael O'Neill is going to make a change, and it's Shane Ferguson making way for Billy McKay. He needed to do something, Luxembourg smell an upset.

62 minPENALTY SHOUT! Ward goes down under a challenge from Da Mota, but the referee waves away protests. It was a desperate lunge but replays show that he did get the ball before the man.

65 minCarroll is down clutching his foot after a bit of a late one from Turpel, but he looks good to go. There was nothing malicious in it.

67 minMartin Paterson nearly weaves his way into a shooting opportunity, but there's enough bodies back for Luxembourg to quell the danger. McKay has another dig from a rebound, but again the wall of white shirts prevent Joubert from having to make a save.

68 minLUXEMBOURG SUB: Antonio Luisi comes on for David Turpel.

70 minCHANCE! Best chance of the match so far, as McKay picks up a loose ball inside the area and evades the challenge from Joubert. However, he fires wide of the goal, which was protected by just one defender on the line. Golden opportunity squandered.

72 minSHOT! Jamie Ward has a crack from distance but it was always rising. The visitors are on top now after coming under the cosh in the early part of the second half.

75 minWith 15 minutes to go this game is wide open but neither team are doing enough to find the a goal that would surely win the game.

76 minJamie Ward has easily been the best player on the park for Northern Ireland, and he nearly crafts a chance for Paterson to cross but once again the Luxembourg defence is organised in getting back.

78 minGOAL! Luxembourg 2-1 Northern Ireland (Stefano Bensi)

78 minBensi, with a rocket, gives Carroll no chance! The winger was afforded far too much time and space in the final third and punished Northern Ireland with a sweet strike. Are Luxembourg about to taste victory in a World Cup qualifier for just the second time in 40 years?

80 minNorthern Ireland have 10 minutes to rescue something from this game.

81 minGOAL! Luxembourg 2-2 Northern Ireland (Gareth McAuley)

81 minThey're level! Gareth McAuley scores his fourth goal of the qualifying campaign with a typically towering header from a free kick.

84 minCHANCE! Glorious opportunity for Antonio Luisi to put the hosts back in front! The Northern Ireland defence were sliced wide open then, but the midfielder dwelled on the ball too long, which allowed Evans to make a last-ditch block. That could have been the chance right there.

86 minThe game has really sparked to life since Bensi's goal and now it's end-to-end stuff.

87 minGOAL! Luxembourg 3-2 Northern Ireland (Mathias Janisch)

87 minThe shock is back on! Poor defending from a corner gives Janisch the chance to slam the ball home from six yards out. It was a deep corner towards Joachim that fell kindly for the defender to notch his first goal for his country.

89 minMartin Paterson goes for a spectacular bicycle kick... it nearly goes out for a throw. Bit of desperation there.

90 minThree minutes for Northern Ireland to find another equaliser.

90+3 minBOOKING! McAuley goes into the book for a foul on Luisi.

9.08pmFULL TIME: Luxembourg 3-2 Northern Ireland

9.09pmIt's a deserved victory for Luxembourg! They emerge victorious in a World Cup qualifier for just the fourth time in 122 outings.

9.10pmThe result sees the hosts draw level on points with Northern Ireland, who will no doubt be wanting the ground to swallow them up right about now.

9.12pmI can image Belfast will be a pretty sombre city this evening. Actually, that goes for the rest of Northern Ireland, for that matter. A demoralising defeat for Michael O'Neill and his team. Meanwhile, they'll be dancing in the streets of, err, Luxembourg city this evening. And probably the next few weeks, as well.

9.13pmThat's it for our coverage this evening. Thanks for joining us at Sports Mole. Hope to see you again soon.

Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal scores during the FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifying Group F match between Northern Ireland and Portugal at Windsor Park on September 6, 2013
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