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Maribor win bonus for birthday boy Maik

Veteran goalkeeper Maik Taylor turns 39 today and intends to party after Northern Ireland's stunning victory against Slovenia in their Euro 2012 qualifier.

Substitute Corry Evans scored the winner in the 70th minute when he got on the end of a driven cross from Craig Cathcart on his debut.

The result was unexpected given that Slovenia had won five of six home qualifiers on their way to the World Cup finals in South Africa.

In contrast, Northern Ireland went into the match without a win in 10 games and without a goal in seven.

However, they displayed immense fighting spirit and Birmingham's Taylor was ecstatic after keeping a clean sheet. "I am going to have a proper celebration, " he said. "Our preparation was fantastic in the week and we had plenty of confidence -- but the boys dug in."

Cathcart was only drafted in as Corry's brother Jonny, the Manchester United defender, was ruled out with a groin injury.

Old Trafford midfielder Evans said: "I haven't scored for Northern Ireland since I was a schoolboy, so to get on the scoresheet in such an important match is fantastic.

"We've had our criticism over our away from and for not being able to score goals, so to win away with a clean sheet is great."

Slovenia were clear favourites after running England close in South Africa. They named 10 of their 11 starters from that match in Port Elizabeth against Northern Ireland. But Nigel Worthington's side upset the odds despite one of their key players being sidelined.

Worthington said: "We worked all week with Jonny as a left-back. I was disappointed to lose him but you cannot take your thoughts away from everyone else.

"Whatever big brother can do, little brother can do as well. What a family that is. Young Corry is a fantastic young professional.

"He has a lot of ability and is a very honest young man. I had no qualms about putting him on and the goal was a nice little surprise.

"We defended magnificently in the second half, we rode the storm and got the goal to win the game."