MX23RW : Sunday, January 20 01:24:01

Result: 1-1 draw with Finland secures top spot for Northern Ireland in Group F

Michael O'Neill's Northern Ireland take a point away to Finland to ensure they finish as Group F winners.

Northern Ireland secured top spot in Group F with a 1-1 draw away to Finland.

Craig Cathcart of Northern Ireland is mobbed after scoring the opening goal during the UEFA EURO 2016 Qualifying match between Finland and Northern Ireland at the Olympic Stadium on October 11, 2015 in Helsinki, Finland. © Getty Images

Stuart Dallas, who saw an early effort fly over the bar, was gifted a 20th-minute chance by Finland keeper Lukas Hradecky but shot straight at the keeper after taking a touch.

Both Chris Brunt and Chris Baird had goalbound efforts blocked by their own teammates in the opening period, while Tim Sparv volleyed over a rare Finland effort.

Watford defender Craig Cathcart opened the scoring for Michael O'Neill's men, nodding home from Niall McGinn's right-wing cross.

Craig Cathcart of Northern Ireland scores the opening goal during the UEFA EURO 2016 Qualifying match between Finland and Northern Ireland at the Olympic Stadium on October 11, 2015 in Helsinki, Finland.© Getty Images

Joel Pohjanpalo almost replied instantly for Finland but Northern Ireland keeper Michael McGovern's fingertip save denied the striker.

It was Pohjanpalo who had an early second-half chance to equalise as he found himself on the end of Robin Lod's cutback but the big forward fired over from close range.

Northern Ireland introduced Josh Magennis for Kyle Lafferty with ten minutes remaining, and a ball meant for the Kilmarnock striker was cut out before Brunt tested Hradecky from range.

The hosts made their pressure count in the dying minutes of normal time as centre-back Paulus Arajuuri tucked a finish beyond McGovern to level the tie.

Stuart Dallas (L) of Northern Ireland and Joel Pohjanpalo (C) and Sakari Mattila (R) of Finland vie for the ball during the Euro 2016 Group F qualifying football match between Finland and Northern Ireland at the Helsingin Olympiastadion in Helsinki on Oct© Getty Images

Michael O'Neill's side held on to secure the point and finish their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign at the summit of Group F.

Share this article now:
Craig Cathcart of Northern Ireland scores the opening goal during the UEFA EURO 2016 Qualifying match between Finland and Northern Ireland at the Olympic Stadium on October 11, 2015 in Helsinki, Finland.
Read Next:
Live Commentary: Finland 1-1 N. Ireland - as it happened
>

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Premier League
Championship
La Liga
Serie A
Bundesliga
Ligue 1
Eredivisie
Primeira Liga
Belgian Pro League
League One
League Two
National League
Scottish League Two
NIFL Premiership
Liga MX
Argentine Primera Division
Segunda Division
Serie B
Ligue 2
Greek Superleague
Turkish Super Lig
Australian A-League
Indian I-League
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool23193154124260
2Manchester CityMan City22172359174253
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs22160646222448
4Chelsea23145440192147
5Arsenal23135548321644
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd23135546331344
7Watford239683232033
8Wolverhampton WanderersWolves239592731-432
9Leicester CityLeicester2394102929031
10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2394103034-431
11Everton238693433130
12Bournemouth2393113342-930
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2375112532-726
14Crystal Palace2364132232-1022
15Southampton2357112540-1522
16Burnley2364132343-2022
17Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2356121931-1221
18Cardiff CityCardiff2354141944-2519
19Fulham2235142049-2914
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2225151337-2411

Subscribe to our Newsletter


Transfer Talk Daily
Match previews - twice weekly
Morning Briefing (7am UTC)
Ultra close-up image of Kevin De Bruyne [NOT FOR USE IN ARTICLES]Get the latest transfer news, match previews and news direct to your inbox!

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Loading ...

Failed to load data.

Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Login, I already have my ad-free pass
Log in to customise Sports Mole
Buy ad-free access (show me the options)
Buy monthly ad-free access for £1.20/month
Buy yearly ad-free access for £12 (2 months free)
Settings - Logout - Manage your account
Settings - Logout - Manage your account