MX23RW : Tuesday, August 3 09:32:41| >> :600:321787:321787:
May 27, 2016 at 7.45pm UK at Windsor Park
N. IrelandNorthern Ireland
Lafferty (6'), Washington (44'), Grigg (88')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Result: Clinical Northern Ireland make it 11 games without defeat by seeing off Belarus

Northern Ireland beat Belarus 3-0 at Windsor Park in their final home match before Euro 2016, courtesy of goals from Kyle Lafferty, Conor Washington and Will Grigg.

Northern Ireland marked their final home match before the European Championship finals with a 3-0 victory over Belarus on Friday evening to make it 11 games without defeat.

Kyle Lafferty opened the scoring for the hosts early on at Windsor Park to mark his 50th cap in style, before strike partners Conor Washington and Will Grigg added their own names to the scoresheet - just the second time Ireland have found the net more than once in their last 23 friendlies.

Michael O'Neill's squad, which will be cut down to 23 members on Saturday, now head to Austria for a week-long training camp before facing Slovakia in one final friendly before the real business gets underway in France on June 12.

In a match that struggled to really get going, Ireland found a way through early on when some poor defending from a Stuart Dallas cross allowed Lafferty to simply prod home just a few yards out for goal number 17 in the famous green and white strip.

It took until the 21-minute mark before another shot arrived in the low-key affair, as Chris Baird found the ball at his feet at the back post from a Steven Davis delivery, only to blast his shot into an opposition player.

Belarus's only real opening of the first half fell to Mikalay Yanush, but the top-scoring striker in the Belarusian top flight for two years running could only glance his front-post header a yard over the bar.

The Green & White Army were bossing the possession in the final third of the field, but Lafferty in particular was growing frustrated as his second shot of the evening was blocked aside in the box.

Ireland did have a second before the break, though, as another Dallas cross from the left was horribly dealt with by keeper Andrey Gorbunov, who let the ball slip through his grasp for Washington to nod home his second international goal in three caps.

O'Neill used the interval as a chance to change a few players, including the introduction of Alan Mannus, who was forced into making a simple stop down low from Syarhey Kislyak five minutes into the second half.

The visitors had gone five games, and a total of 500 minutes, without conceding a single goal heading into this Belfast clash, but the remainder of the match was mainly about Ireland prodding away.

For all their possession the Green & White Army struggled to make their dominance count, with substitute Grigg's header from a set-piece delivery being swept up by Gorbunov on the hour in a simple enough manner.

Belarus were almost given something to cheer when former Barcelona and Arsenal midfielder Alexander Hleb capitalised on fellow sub Niall McGinn's near-costly slip, although the ball got away from him and Mannus was able to clear the danger.

Ireland, now without a defeat in 11 outings stretching back some 14 months, managed to add a third late on when Grigg joined the goalscoring party following yet more slack defensive play from the visitors.

The in-form Wigan Athletic striker - who has become a cult hero at Windsor Park of late - blasted into an empty net from 12 yards out when a cross was parried directly into his path, rounding off another memorable night in Belfast for Northern Ireland.

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Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill after the Euro 2016 Qualifier between Northern Ireland and Faroe Islands at Windsor Park on October 11, 2014
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States22251764
Olympics flagRussian Olympic Committee12211750
Great BritainGreat Britain11121235
Today's Olympic highlights header

Tuesday's key events

· Team GB duo Jack Laugher - silver medallist in Rio - and James Heatly take part in the men's 3m springboard semi-final (2am), and will hope to qualify for the final later in the day (7am)

· Two Britons are involved in the women's long jump final, but Abigail Irozuru and Jazmin Sawyers have their work cut out to get a spot on the podium (2.50am)
· Norwegian Karsten Warholm, who broke the world record just last month, goes for gold in the men's 400m hurdles final. USA's Rai Benjamin is expected to be his main challenger (4.20am)
· Great Britain have three representatives in the final of the women's 800m, with Jemma Reekie having perhaps the best chance of a medal (1.25pm)
· A mouth-watering women's 200m final sees Elaine Thompson-Herah go for the prestigious sprint double after claiming the 100m crown. Compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Namibia's Christine Mboma and USA's Gabrielle Thomas are expected to be her main competitors (1.50pm)

· The rescheduled women's skiff 49er FX (4.33am) and men's skiff 49er (5.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races
· Defending champion Giles Scott bids for a second successive gold in the Finn class medal race (6.33am)
· There is another medal chance for Team GB in the mixed Nacra 17 medal race (7.33am)

· Team GB's Joe Fraser takes part in the parallel bars final, kicking off the final day of artistic gymnastics (9am)
· USA superstar Simone Biles, who has been forced to pull out of all of her finals so far, is on the starting list for the beam final as she bids for a fifth Olympic gold (9.50am)

· The men's semi-finals take place, with Mexico taking on Brazil first up (9am)
· The winner of that first semi-final will face either hosts Japan or Spain (2pm)

· Laura Kenny will look to win a third straight Olympic team pursuit gold medal. Team GB take on United States in their heat (7.44am), with the gold medal race later that day (9.26am)
· Laura's husband and fellow Olympic legend Jason Kenny will also look to continue his huge success in the men's team sprint - an event he has won gold in at every Games since 2008. Team GB will first need to get through the men's qualifying (7.58am), with the gold medal race ending the session (9.44am)

· Pat McCormack will be looking to achieve his dream of Olympic gold when he faces Cuba's Roniel Iglesias (11.05am)

> Today's schedule in full
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