MX23RW : Sunday, September 23 06:59:57

Player Ratings: Greece 0-2 Northern Ireland

Sports Mole examines how the players fared in Northern Ireland's 2-0 win away to Greece.

Northern Ireland beat Greece 2-0 tonight to extended their 100% start to Euro 2016 qualifying.

Jamie Ward converted from an Oliver Norwood corner to give the visitors a ninth-minute lead.

Greece missed one or two goalscoring chances to restore parity, before Kyle Lafferty doubled the lead in the second half.

Below, Sports Mole has a look at who excelled and who was a Greek tragedy in Athens.

Northern Ireland's forward James Ward celebrates after scoring a goal during UEFA Euro 2016 group F qualifying gootball match between Greece and Northern Ireland at the Karaiskaki stadium in Piraeus, near Athens, on October 14, 2014© Getty Images



GREECE

Goal

Orestis Karnezis: Blameless for both goals but had very little to do overall by virtue of the Greeks' territorial dominance. (6/10)

Defence

Loukas Vyntra: Went off injured on 15 minutes but was perhaps guilty of losing Jamie Ward for Northern Ireland's opening goal. (4/10)

Sokratis Papastathopoulos: The Borussia Dortmund defender did not enhance his reputation much tonight and got Lafferty booked with a bit of play-acting. (5/10)

Kostas Manolas: Endured an indifferent night and got made a mug of when Lafferty rounded him in the first half before smashing against the bar. (5/10)

Vasillis Torosidis: Perhaps the only source of consistent deliveries but none of his crosses were converted by his attacking counterparts. Little to do defensively. (6/10)

Midfield

Panagiotis Tachtsidis: Forced Carroll into a rare save in the second half, but his set-piece delivery was not as good as it should have been. (5/10)

Giannis Maniatis: Booked, but shielded his defence well and can consider himself a touch unlucky to be on the losing side. (6/10)

Georgios Samaras: Lively first-half showing and would have bagged an assist had Karelis converted his through-ball. Faded badly in second half and was replaced on 67 minutes. (6/10)

Nikos Karelis: Guilty of missing Greece's best chance of the game after spurning a first-half one-on-one with Carroll. Should have scored. (4/10)

Attack

Stefanos Athanasiadis: Replaced at half time yet looked like one of Greece's better performers in the opening 45 minutes. (6/10)

Kostas Mitroglou: Isolated as Greece's focal point and lacked the service to make a telling contribution. (5/10)

Substitutes

Kostas Stafyldis: Forced to make an early introduction following Vyntra's injury, and instantly proved a better option with a number of excellent deliveries from left-back. (6/10)

Andreas Samaris: Replaced Athanasiadis at the interval but the Greeks looked less of an attacking threat once he was introduced. (4/10)

Dimitris Salpingidis: Came on for Samaras but did little in his lengthy cameo to justify boss Claudio Ranieri's decision. Poor showing. (4/10)



NORTHERN IRELAND

Goal

Roy Carroll: Very quiet evening for the veteran. Pressured Karelis into missing a first-half one-on-one before palming away a second-half effort from Tachtsidis. (7/10)

Defence

Conor McLaughlin: Produced one crucial header to deny Greece an almost certain goal in an otherwise quiet night for the right-back. (6/10)

Gareth McAuley: Marked his 50th Northern Ireland appearance with a fine defensive performance to keep the Greece forward line quiet throughout. (7/10)

Aaron Hughes: Perhaps slightly fortunate not to have a penalty awarded against him in a suspected case of handball. Decent from the centre-half other than that. (6/10)

Shane Ferguson: Did not venture too far forward at left-back, but produced a solid defensive performance to keep Karelis and Torosidis quiet enough. (7/10)

Midfield

Corry Evans: Quiet enough on the right side of midfield, but helped Ferguson out with his defensive duties. (6/10)

Steven Davis: Tireless performance from the Southampton midfielder and played a major role in Northern Ireland's history-making night. (7/10)

Chris Baird: Cheaply gave the ball away in the first half but Samaras was not clinical enough to pounce on the error. (5/10)

Oliver Norwood: Strong performance in the middle of midfield and grabbed an assist for Ward's opener. (6/10)

Jamie Ward: Netted the all-important opener and got through his fair share of defensive work. (7/10)

Attack

Kyle Lafferty: Scored a key second goal in brilliant fashion to earn a well-deserved goal for a lively, industrious display as his nation's spearhead. Also hit the bar. (8/10)

Substitutes

Steven McGivern: Slotted into a five-man defence on the hour mark and played a role in restricting Greece to limited goalscoring opportunities. (6/10)

Josh Magennis: Only had a handful of touches in his 18-minute cameo after replacing Lafferty. Willing runner but had little to chase up there. (5/10)

Ben Reeves: Replaced the tiring Ferguson for the final 12 minutes and performed admirably at right-back. (6/10)

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Northern Ireland's midfielder Kyle Lafferty celebrates with teammates after scoring a goal during the UEFA Euro 2016 group F qualifying gootball match between Greece and Northern Ireland at the Karaiskaki stadium in Piraeus, near Athens, on October 14, 20
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