Saturday 25 November 2017

Kerr on cloud nine after Faroes hold North

Faroe Islands 1
Northern Ireland 1

Brian Kerr danced a jig of delight after his part-time Faroe Islanders held Northern Ireland to a shock Group C draw in Toftir yesterday.

The unheralded Faroes took the lead on the hour when Christian Lamhauge Holst twisted and turned before firing a low shot past Maik Taylor to stun Nigel Worthington's side.

However, 16 minutes later Kyle Lafferty spared the North's blushes with an accurate strike from just inside the area that clipped an upright on its way into the net.

Kerr said the result was a fair reflection of his side's dogged efforts in the Svangaskard Stadium, which is surrounded by rolling green hills.

"I think we at least deserved a point. I've had a couple of good days with the Faroes. Last year when we beat Lithuania was a great day," he said.

"Being from Ireland, with my parents from Belfast, it was a good day for me," added Kerr, who took over the Faroes job in April last year. "We were always going to be under pressure, with some of the class players they have. While I am very happy with the result, from the Northern Ireland point I am disappointed this may have affected their chances of qualifying.

"It has been a hard struggle for us to get to this stage and get a point. It was a good goal.

"I have not had that many good days regarding results. There is not a magic wand here. I am trying to get favours and trying to change the attitude of the association, so we can become more professional."

Disappointed Northern Ireland manager Worthington accused his team of complacency. "They were well warned how tough the game was going to be," he said.

"It was an indisciplined performance by the team, not in terms of yellow cards, but in our shape. People were doing the wrong thing. Without a shadow of a doubt it is two points lost. We were not ruthless enough.

"Their goal came about through us not putting our foot through the ball. The ball should have been in the sea."

Irish Independent

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