Friday 20 April 2018

Northern Ireland secure top spot

Craig Cathcart scores for Northern Ireland
Craig Cathcart scores for Northern Ireland Newsdesk Newsdesk

Northern Ireland were denied a seventh win of their triumphant Euro 2016 campaign but a point in Finland was still enough to see them break new ground by winning Group F.

In doing so they became the first fifth seeds in European qualifying history to finish top of the pile.

Craig Cathcart looked to have delivered even more when he headed home a maiden international goal in the first half but, after a lethargic display, Finland nicked a 1-1 draw three minutes from time through Paulus Arajuuri.

Romania booked their place in the finals by finishing runners-up to Northern Ireland courtesy of a 3-0 win in the Faroe Islands.

The victory left unbeaten Romania with 20 points.

Hungary had to settle for third place after losing 4-3 in Greece and will try to reach the finals via the play-offs.

Irish Independent

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