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Live Commentary: Northern Ireland 1-1 Hungary - as it happened

Relive all the action from the Euro 2016 qualifying clash between Northern Ireland and Hungary.
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Northern Ireland and Hungary faced off in their Euroo 2016 qualifier at Windsor Park on Monday.

Michael O'Neill's men were looking to confirm their place at the championships in France next year with a victory, while Hungary were hopeful of keeping their hopes of reaching the finals alive.

The visitors looked to have secured the three points when Richard Guzmics found the net, and Chris Baird saw red for the home side.

However, Kyle Lafferty struck in stoppage time to earn his side a point to keep them on track to qualify, although they will have to wait till next month to attempt to book their place in France.

Read how all the action unfolded in our commentary below.


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Good evening and welcome to the live commentary of the Euro 2016 qualifying clash between Northern Ireland and Hungary.

It's a huge night for Northern Ireland as a victory will see them qualify for Euro 2016. The nation has not qualified for the finals of a major tournament since the 1986 World Cup and it will cap a major achievement by Michael O'Neill and his team.

O'Neill's side displayed their good form on Friday in their resounding victory over the Faroe Islands to put them on the brink of the finals in France next year thanks to a brace from Gareth McAuley and a strike from Kyle Laffery. The home side will have the whole of Windsor Park behind them tonight to try to secure their Euro 2016 berth.

It's a big match for Hungary too this evening as a victory for them would put them right back into the mix for automatic qualification from Group F and boost their chances to being one of the best third-placed teams in the qualifying stage. Head coach Bernd Storck will have his side fired up for the game and they will do their utmost to spoil the party tonight.

The team news has been announced and we'll start with the home side.

NORTHERN IRELAND STARTING XI: McGovern; McLaughlin, McAuley, J Evans, Baird; Davis, Brunt, C Evans, Dallas, Norwood; Lafferty

HUNGARY STARTING XI: Kiraly, Leandro, Kadar, Fiola, Guzmics, Elek, Dzsudzsak, Kalmar, Szalai, Gera, Nemeth

O'Neill has made one change to his side from their win over the Faroe Islands. Corry Evans comes into the side at the expense of Niall McGinn, who drops to the bench. Kyle Lafferty leads the line in front of a five-man midfield, although Stuart Dallas and Chris Brunt will provide support from the wide areas. Gareth McAuley and Jonny Evans will anchor the middle of the defence, with Chris Baird and Conor McLaughlin operating in the full-back positions.

Storck has made four changes to his side that drew 0-0 with Romania in their last clash. Zoltan Gera, Krisztian Nemeth, Richard Guzmics and Zsolt Kalmar come into the side as Nemanja Nikolic, Zoltan Steiber, Roland Juhasz and Daniel Tozser drop out of the lineup.

NORTHERN IRELAND SUBS: Ferguson, Hughes, Magennis, McGinn, Mannus, Cathcart, Carroll, McKay, Grigg, Lavery, McCourt, McNair

HUNGARY SUBS: Lang, Bodi, Dibusz, Lovrencsics, Bosnjak, Nagy, Nikolic, Stieber, Priskin, Vanczak, Bogdan, Markvart

Laffety is adamant that he will do his utmost to fire his side to victory tonight to ensure their place at Euro 2016, he told BBC Sport: "I never imagined that we would be in this position.

"This could be the first time Northern Ireland have ever qualified for a Euro finals. It really is some achievement and we can't wait to make sure we get across the finish line."

Northern Ireland's forward Kyle Lafferty (C) celebrates scoring against Hungary during a qualification match for EURO 2016 between Hungary and Northern Ireland on September 7, 2014 © Getty Images


PREVIOUS MEETING: Lafferty found the net in the last match between the sides to score the match-winning goal after Niall McGinn had levelled for O'Neill's men after Tamas Priskin put Hungary ahead. O'Neill and his side would take anything for a repeat of the result this evening.

The players are making their way out on to the field and we should be underway shortly.

Brief stat on the importance of Lafferty to his side this evening.



The anthems are over and we're ready for off at Windsor Park.

KICKOFF! We're underway in this vital Euro 2016 qualifier for the hosts.

CHANCE! Early opportunity for N Ireland as Brunt sends a cross deep towards the back post, but it just does not fall for Davis unmarked at the back stick. He is forced to drop back on to the wing, but his cross from the right comes to nothing.

CHANCE! The home side allow Dzsudzsak to run with the ball and he gets to the edge of the area before he decides to strike the ball with his left foot. However, the winger's shot goes wide of the post.

Davis fires a low corner into the box for Norwood who pulls away from his marker on the penalty spot, but the midfielder fails to connect with the ball and Hungary clear. Fast start from the home side.

N Ireland win a free kick down the right and Brunt stands over the ball and delivers a vicious cross into the box, but Kiraly comes through a crowd of players to punch the ball clear. Good keeping from the former Crystal Palace man.

YELLOW CARD! Lafferty goes into the book for the home side for a late challenge on Guzmics. The striker will miss the next game.

Nemeth is nearly in behind the N Ireland defence as he tries to latch on to a ball over the top from Leonardo, but the ball just skips off the surface of the pitch and goes behind for a goal kick. A let off for O'Neill's men.

CHANCE! Davis catches the Hungary defence out with a quick free kick with a low ball into the box, but Dallas's effort is blocked behind by a good challenge by Elek. The midfielder may have saved a certain goal there.

O'Neill's men win another free kick in a dangerous position on the left. Davis lifts the ball into the box, but McAuley is adjudged to have committed a foul in the box to ease the pressure on the visitors.

A loose ball sets Norwood away through the middle, but he cannot find the incisive pass needed to release the run of Lafferty. The midfielder plays the ball wide to Brunt, who raids down the wing and wins a corner for the home side.

Brunt whips his cross into the box, but McAuley cannot make contact with the ball. It loops around the box before Davis overhead kicks the ball towards goal, but Kiraly made the claim with ease.

SAVE! Another free kick for the home side and Norwood drills his effort from 30 yards towards the bottom corner. The ball loops and bounces just before it reaches Kiraly, but the keeper makes a good save by palming the ball to safety.

Dallas gathers the ball from the rebound down the left wing and tries to lift the ball into the box, but Fiola gets back to make the challenge and win a goal kick for the visitors.

Dallas causes further problems for Hungary down the left as he bustles past two players into the box. He sees Davis in space and tries to offload the ball, but his pass lacks accuracy and Nagy clears the ball.

CHANCE! Fiola lofts the ball into the box for the run of Nemeth, who takes the ball in stride, but McGovern is out quickly to make the block to save his team. However, the forward was offside anyway, but a warning for the home side.

N Ireland made a bright start to the match, but Hungary are slowly coming into the match. O'Neill will want his side to regain their early initiative to get back control of the game.

O'Neill's men are starting to regain control of the match thanks to Lafferty who is holding the ball extremely well in the final third of the pitch. The striker is allowing support to come from the flanks with Dallas and Brunt racing to get upfield.

Lafferty collects a pass from McLaughlin on the right and turns the ball into the path of Davis bursting through the middle, but the Southampton man cannot collect the ball cleanly and Hungary once again manage to clear.

YELLOW CARD! Leandro goes into the book for a poor challenge on McLaughlin.

Brunt's delivery from the right goes straight to a defender at the near post and Hungary manage to clear the danger from a threatening position from the Irish. The West Bromwich Albion man's delivery hasn't been at its best so far tonight.

CHANCE! Nemeth collects the ball on the left and drives towards goal before he fires a shot from 25 yards, which trickles just past the post. Another warning for the home side.

There will be one minute of added time.

HALF-TIME: Northern Ireland 0-0 Hungary

No breakthrough yet for Northern Ireland and although they have been the better of the two sides, they haven't managed to create a clear-cut opportunity to find the back of the net. O'Neill will be pleased with the effort of his side, but maybe not the quality in the final third. It's probably fair to say that the Ireland players are bit too tentative when they have broken into the box, which is understandable given the occasion this evening.

Hungary were on the back foot for the majority of the half, but did carve out the better of the chances as Balazs Dzsudzsak and Krisztian Nemeth both put long-range efforts past the post. Storck will be encouraged by the resilience of his side at the back and with the pace in their team, they could hit the Irish on the counter if the game gets stretched in the second half.

RESTART! We're back underway at Windsor Park.

An early chance for the visitors to threaten from a free kick from the left. Dzsudzsak lifts the ball into the box, but McAuley gets up well to head the ball clear to settle the nerves at the start of the second half.

CHANCE! McLaughlin puts a free kick towards the box for the home side and McAuley knocks the ball into the path of Lafferty, but the ball trickles agonsingly away from his right foot and Kiraly is able to gather. Mere millimetres from making contact there was the striker.

CHANCE! Set pieces continue to be the main threat from both sides as Dzsudzsak lifts another cross in from the left and this time Gera rises highest in the box to power a header at goal, but his effort goes wide of the post.

Hungary continue to threaten as Dzsudzsak drives forward into the box. His shot is blocked, but he then feeds the all into Nemeth down the left, but the striker is flagged offside.

CHANCE! Another set piece and danger for Hungary when Davis's corner finds Evans in the box, but the West Bromwich Albion man sends his header just over the bar. A chance for Evans there!

SUBSTITUTION: Corry Evans makes way for the home side and is replaced by McGinn.

N Ireland continue to win free kicks in and around the box as Lafferty goes down. Norwood lines up the strike and sends his curling effort towards the bottom corner, but Kiraly gathers the ball with ease.

The game is very much in the balance at the moment. Both sides have looked a threat in the second half, but neither has been able to carve out the clear-cut chance to break the deadlock.

CHANCE! Nemeth collects the ball in the box and fends off the challenge of McAuley. The forward sees Kalmar in space on the edge of the area and finds the midfielder, but he can only guide his effort over the bar. A waste from Kalmar.

Confusion at the back for the hosts as McLaughlin and McAuley get a tangle in the box and causes the right-back to fire his clearance off his teammate. Fortunately for N Ireland the ball lands safely away from a red shirt before they clear.

CHANCE! Gera drives at goal unchallenged as Evans and McAuley sit on the edge of the box and the midfielder strikes with venom at goal, and his effort forces McGovern to dive to his right, but the shot goes wide of the post.

SUBSTITUTION: The visitors make a chance with Priskin replacing Szalai up front.

Yet another free kick for the Irish as Lafferty wins another set piece down the left. However, Norwood fails to find the quality he needs from the free kick as Kiraly makes another comfortable save.

CHANCE! Kalmar takes a free kick from the left and powers a right-footed strike towards goal, but McGovern tips his effort over the bar. Good save from the keeper as the ball was moving.

GOAL! Northern Ireland 0-1 Hungary (Guzmics)

Disaster for McGovern as he fails to handle a free kick into the box and Guzmics reacts first to turn the ball into the net from close range, his first international goal. The keeper appeared to have control of the ball, but then dropped it right at the feet of the defender who could not miss. A huge moment in the game and the qualifying campaign.

SUBSTITUTION: Magennis replaces Norwood for the home side to put another forward in the box.

Gormics makes a mistake in the final third by when he misjudges the flight of the ball, but Fiola is across quickly to intervene, but he is caught with a boot to the face by Lafferty as he stoops to clear the ball. Brave defending from the right-back.

RED CARD! Chris Baird is dismissed for two bookable offences. This is peculiar refereeing from Cuneyt Cakir as he has shown the midfield two yellow cards at the same time and then the red. Baird brought down Kalmar as he raced upfield, which was a booking. However, the referee also gestures to a previous off-the-ball incident for the first booking. Bizarre from the official.

YELLOW CARD! Priskin gets booked as he reacts against McAuley with an elbow to the chest. The West Brom defender falls to the floor clutching his face, but the referee gives a yellow. It was in the chest and there's no need for that from McAuley.

Lafferty gets down the right and tries to lift the ball into the middle for Ferguson, but Fiola is there to clear the ball to safety. Hungary have been excellent at the back this evening.

Brunt slides a through ball looking for the run of Magennis, but it runs just too far from the striker and goes out of play for a goal kick.

There will be five minutes of added time.

GOAL! Northern Ireland 1-1 Hungary (Lafferty)

HUGE GOAL! Northern Ireland equalise at the death as a corner is partially cleared and falls into the path of McGinn on the edge of the box. The midfielder strikes the ball towards the bottom corner where Kiraly saves, but the keeper can only push it into the path of Lafferty, who fired his effort into the top corner.

FULL-TIME: Northern Ireland 1-1 Hungary

Drama right at the death as Lafferty rescues a point for Northern Ireland and keeps them on track to qualify, although they will have to wait till next month to try to secure their place at Euro 2016. Richard Guzmics's goal looked to have condemned them to defeat, while Chris Baird soon saw red for two bookable offences. However, that man Lafferty was there to notch the equaliser, displaying his poachers instincts to find the net.

Thanks for joining our commentary this evening. Until next time, goodbye.

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Northern Ireland's forward Kyle Lafferty (C) celebrates scoring against Hungary during a qualification match for EURO 2016 between Hungary and Northern Ireland on September 7, 2014
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