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Result: Kyle Lafferty scores twice in Northern Ireland win

Kyle Lafferty is at the double for Northern Ireland as they beat Finland 2-1 in their Euro 2016 qualifier.

Kyle Lafferty scored twice as Northern Ireland recorded an impressive 2-1 win over Finland in their Group F Euro 2016 qualification match on Sunday.

The victory has moved Northern Ireland onto 12 points from five games, while Finland remain in fourth position on four points.

Kyle Lafferty of Northern Ireland scores during the EURO 2016 Group F qualifier at Windsor Park on March 29, 2015© Getty Images

It was the visitors who made most of the early running, with Sakari Mattila and Teemu Pukki both having attempts in the opening seven minutes.

Jamie Ward came close for Northern Ireland after nine minutes, but his effort from distance was blocked. Finland continued to look the most likely, however, with Roman Eremenko passing up another decent chance two minutes later.

Steven Davis had a wonderful chance for the home side after 28 minutes, but the Southampton midfielder was denied by Lukas Hradecky following some poor defending from the visitors.

Northern Ireland took charge of the match late in the first period, however, following a double from Lafferty. First, the striker finished into the bottom corner from inside the box, before heading a Conor McLaughlin cross into the back of the net as the hosts led 2-0 at the break.

Kyle Lafferty (R) of Northern Ireland and Niklas Moisander (L) of Finland in action during the EURO 2016 Group F qualifier at Windsor Park on March 29, 2015© Getty Images

Lafferty had a wonderful chance to score his third just three minutes into the second period, but after collecting a long pass from Jonny Evans, the forward had his effort just deflected over the crossbar by Paulus Arajuuri.

Niall McGinn then came close for the home side, but the midfielder fired wide, before Eremenko followed suit at the other end.

The end-to-end period of the match continued as the hour mark approached, with Ward having a close-range strike saved and Roy Carroll denying Jere Uronen down the other end.

Corry Evans had the chance to add a third for Northern Ireland 20 minutes from time, but the midfielder was denied as the score remained 2-0.

There was to be no hat-trick for Lafferty as the striker departed 10 minutes from time, but Northern Ireland held on for all three points despite a late scare when Berat Sadik found the back of the net for Finland in stoppage time.

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Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty in action against Azerbaijan on November 14, 2012
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Friday's key events


ATHLETICS
· The athletics schedule begins, with 100m sprinter Dina Asher-Smith among the names in action on the opening day. The men's 10,000m final concludes the action, with Team GB's Sam Atkin and Marc Scott taking part in the absence of 2012 and 2016 champion Sir Mo Farah (1am-2.30pm)

ROWING
· Victoria Thornley is Team GB's representative in the women's single sculls final (1.33am)
· Great Britain will be going for gold in the men's eight final (2.25am)

SWIMMING
· Team GB duo Molly Renshaw and Abbie Wood take part in the women's 200m breaststroke final, but new Olympic record-holder Tatjana Schoenmaker of South Africa is the hot favourite (2.41am)
· Luke Greenbank has very realistic ambitions of picking up a medal in the men's 200m backstroke final (2.50am)
· There is also British representation in the women's 100m freestyle final, although any medal for Anna Hopkin would be a surprise (2.59am)
· With one gold and one silver already under his belt at these Games, Duncan Scott goes again in the men's 200m individual medley final (3.16am)

TRAMPOLINE
· Bryony Page will be looking to repeat her 2016 heroics in the women's event (5am-7.30pm)

CANOE SLALOM
· Bradley Forbes-Cryans will be looking to emulate Rio gold medallist Joe Clarke in the men's kayak event (6am-9am)

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· The women's tournament enters the quarter-finals, with Great Britain facing Australia at the Ibaraki Kashima Stadium (10am)

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