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FIFA World Cup European Qualifying

Josy Barthel Stadium (ATT 1,114) 10th September 2013 - Kick off 19:15 Ref: R Malek

Luxembourg Luxembourg vs Northern Ireland N Ireland

Luxembourg 3

A Joachim (45+2)
S Bensi (78)
M Janisch (87)

ft

N Ireland 2

M Paterson (14)
G McAuley (82)

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World Cup qualifiers: Northern Ireland crash to shock defeat in Luxembourg

By Tim Oscroft.   Last Updated: 10/09/13 10:48pm

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Northern Ireland: Slipped to embarrassing defeat in Luxembourg

Northern Ireland: Slipped to embarrassing defeat in Luxembourg

Luxembourg shocked Northern Ireland 3-2 to win a World Cup qualifying match for only the fourth time in their history.

Mathias Janisch stabbed the ball home just three minutes from time in an exciting encounter in the Grand Duchy.

The home side had earlier led for five minutes when Gareth McAuley made it 2-2 with eight minutes to go, only for Janisch to pop up at a free kick and grab their first World Cup win on home soil in 43 years.

Martin Paterson gave Northern Ireland an early lead which was cancelled out on the stroke of half time by Aurelien Joachim.

Stefano Bensi put Luxembourg ahead on 77 minutes, then McAuley equalised before Janisch's dramatic winner.

Prior to kick-off in the Josy Barthel Stadium, O'Neill's side could look back on some of the brighter signs from their recent performances.

They were leading Portugal 2-1 in Belfast until a Cristiano Ronaldo hat-trick and the indiscipline of Chris Brunt and Kyle Lafferty blew away hopes of a shock win. That had been preceded by Northern Ireland's only win of the qualifying campaign, at home to Russia, but their lacklustre draw with perennial strugglers Luxembourg on home soil a year ago typified a disappointing attempt to make it to Brazil in 2014.

The hosts started brightly following a pre-match downpour that had left a slick playing surface. The Northern Ireland defence allowed Lars Krogh Gerson to head powerfully wide from a corner, and seconds later Daniel Da Mota wriggled into space in the area but his shot failed to hit the target.

But Paterson calmed his side's nerves with the opening goal, the Huddersfield striker latching on to Shane Ferguson's well-placed pass from midfield before wrong-footing two defenders and then curling his shot past home goalkeeper Jonathan Joubert.

Luxembourg's main threat came from long range shots and Northern Ireland keeper Roy Carroll could only watch as, on the half hour mark, Gerson curled a cute shot over him. Thankfully for the 1,200 travelling fans, his effort only rattled the bar.

Luxembourg continued to create more chances, and Carroll was forced to parry away a rasping drive from the dangerous Bensi as the home side strived to bely their FIFA ranking of 140.

But with referee Robert Malek about to blow for half time, David Turpel's pass allowed Joachim to home in on goal before his shot looped over Carroll having deflected off the sliding Lafferty. It was what the spirited hosts deserved and capped a good fightback following Paterson's opener.

Bensi drove a free kick just wide of the post early in the second half, and as the game developed an end-to-end pattern, Jamie Ward saw his penalty claims waved away.

Substitute Billy McKay found the side-netting from close range just a few minutes after replacing Ferguson and Northern Ireland paid the price when the home side took the lead with 12 minutes left.

The impressive Bensi was allowed enough time and space to shoot from outside the area, and Carroll could not get a hand on the ball as it bounced past him to give Luxembourg the lead.

McAuley looked to have spared Northern Ireland's blushes five minutes later when his powerful downward header from a free kick bounced past Joubert.

However Joachim climbed well to knock down a free kick, and Janisch pounced with three minutes of normal time remaining to make a miserable qualifying campaign for Northern Ireland even worse with two testing away trips still to come.

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Matches

  • FIFA World Cup European Qualifying

    Tue 10th Sep - Group F
    Tue 10th Sep - Group G
    • Lithuania
      2 - 0
      Liechtenstein
      bet
      TV
    • Slovakia
      1 - 2
      Bos & Herz
      bet
      TV
    • Greece
      1 - 0
      Latvia
      bet
      TV
    Tue 10th Sep - Group B
    Tue 10th Sep - Group C
    • Kazakhstan
      0 - 1
      Sweden
      bet
      TV
    • Austria
      1 - 0
      Rep Ireland
      bet
      TV
    • Faroe Islands
      0 - 3
      Germany
      bet
      TV
    Tue 10th Sep - Group E
    Tue 10th Sep - Group I
    Tue 10th Sep - Group D
    Tue 10th Sep - Group A
    Tue 10th Sep - Group H

Tables

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group A

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Belgium 10 26
2 Croatia 10 17
3 Serbia 10 14
4 Scotland 10 11
5 Wales 10 10
6 Macedonia 10 7

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group B

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Italy 10 22
2 Denmark 10 16
3 Czech Republic 10 15
4 Bulgaria 10 13
5 Armenia 10 13
6 Malta 10 3

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group C

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Germany 10 28
2 Sweden 10 20
3 Austria 10 17
4 Republic of Ireland 10 14
5 Kazakhstan 10 5
6 Faroe Islands 10 1

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group D

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Netherlands 10 28
2 Romania 10 19
3 Hungary 10 17
4 Turkey 10 16
5 Estonia 10 7
6 Andorra 10 0

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group E

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Switzerland 10 24
2 Iceland 10 17
3 Slovenia 10 15
4 Norway 10 12
5 Albania 10 11
6 Cyprus 10 5

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group F

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Russia 10 22
2 Portugal 10 21
3 Israel 10 14
4 Azerbaijan 10 9
5 Northern Ireland 10 7
6 Luxembourg 10 6

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group G

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Bosnia and Herzegovina 10 25
2 Greece 10 25
3 Slovakia 10 13
4 Lithuania 10 11
5 Latvia 10 8
6 Liechtenstein 10 2

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group H

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 England 10 22
2 Ukraine 10 21
3 Montenegro 10 15
4 Poland 10 13
5 Moldova 10 11
6 San Marino 10 0

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying Group I

FIFA World Cup European Qualifying
Pos Team P Pts
1 Spain 8 20
2 France 8 17
3 Finland 8 9
4 Georgia 8 5
5 Belarus 8 4

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