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Steven Davis penalty miss against Holland denies Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill glorious swansong at Windsor Park

Northern Ireland had done a fine job of neutralising Frenkie De Jong for long periods during the harsh 3-1 defeat in Rotterdam and Evans and Davis were tasked here with taking it in turns to sit on the Barcelona midfielder. As the game wore on, though, De Jong became harder to shackle. No matter the attention, De Jong never stopped showing for the ball and several occasions kick-started attacks after roaming nonchalantly forward. Daley Blind fired just over after one such foray. Steven Berghuis had hit the crossbar early on for Koeman’s side after his shot, from Quincy Promes’ pull back, looped into the air and Windsor collectively held its breath.

It was always going to be difficult for Northern Ireland to maintain their early pace and intensity and, by the time O’Neill had withdrawn Saville, brought on Michael Smith at right-back and shifted Stuart Dallas to left wing shortly before the hour mark, Holland were very much in control as the home side dropped deeper and deeper. They dug deep, though, and held firm. 

Team details

Northern Ireland: Peacock-Farrell, Corry Evans, Cathcart, Jonny Evans, Lewis, McNair, Davis, Saville, Dallas, Magennis, Whyte.
Subs: Lavery, Ferguson, McGinn, Thompson, Smith, Carson, Donnelly, Flanagan, McGovern, McLaughlin, Boyce, Lafferty. 


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