Last Updated: 03/09/10 9:38pm
Congratulations to Northern Ireland tonight, a marvellous rear-guard action with a dose of boldness that earned the three points. That's it for tonight - I hope you enjoyed the match, make sure you stick around for match report and reaction. Thanks for joining me this evening. Good night.
The Northern Ireland fans are going wild behind that far goal - they're rightly celebrating a magnificent win in Slovenia. That's the first game in seven that they've scored and what a time to do it - Northern Ireland are third in the group after the first match. Next up? Italy in October.
Mark Dingwall: "Excellent service! Good feel of the game - now getting last five minutes on tell now I am home."
Slovenia battering away now, lots of high balls into the area. Cesar is lurking and hooks a ball over the bar - that was very close.
Gorman and Davies combine to work the ball deep into Slovenia's half, not long left to hold on now for Worthington's men.
Tension here now as a bobbly, bouncing ball evades the visitors defence until Cathcart finally hacks it clear. Nervy times. Three left.
Two guesses which Northern Ireland defender headed that corner away...Mr Craigan, you've earned your wages tonight.
Radosavljevic's shot is blocked by Craigan as the midfielder looked set to slot it into the net. More great defending from the skipper on his 50th Northern Ireland appearance.
Change here for Slovenia, final throw of the dice. Ljubijankic is going off - Matavz is on in his place.
Slovenia fans showing their frustration in these closing stages, jeering as Northern Ireland make a rar forway foward.
Half the ground is celebrating because Slovenia think Ljubijankic's piledriver into the side netting has gone between the posts. It hasn't, and Northern Ireland continue to defend.
Slovenia are as they were - bossing the affair. A shot from Dedic this time goes awfully close on the half-volley.
A golf bugee style device has come on to the aid of McAuley, whose taken a nasty blow to the face from Novakovic's elbow.
Not Cathcart's finest moment just there after his assist - he's just tried to take a throw in, but couldn't make it into play.
Unbelievable scenes here, Northern Ireland have gone in-front. Cathcart wriggles free of his man down the left and advances into the box - he passes it across the six yard box and Evans, who has just come on, is on hand to tap home at back post. 1-0 Northern Ireland.
Brunt contributes, whipping over a dangerous cross but no-one can get on the end of it. Better from Northern Ireland, Lafferty and Evans involved.
Change here - Healy limps from the field, looks like a calf problem. Lafferty comes on in his place. McCann also goes off in place of Evans.
All Slovenia here, how they've not scored is beyond this writer at least. Mavric's turn to shoot wide unmarked at the back post.
Kirm is free at the back post and he drills a shot goal ward - but Baird is there to throw his body in the way and preserve the scoreline.
McAuley wins a header at the far post and his knock down finds Healy. The striker tries turning and shooting but it's blocked. Team mates not happy he didn't pass there.
Baird is down in a heap and Slovenia sportingly put the ball out of play, despite having it in the final third.
Birsa is afforded acres out wide on the right, but his cross is turned away by Craigan's knee. Worry that - the space suddenly opened up.
Slovenia piling on the pressure in these early stages, Northern Ireland are struggling to get their foot on the ball.
Nice work from Kirm who nods on for Ljubijanki, but Craigan is there to make a smart tackle out wide on the left.
Birsa should have scored there - Hughes slipped and the balls runs to the Slovenia winger, but his shot is turned behind by the slighest of margins by Cathcart.
Birsa whips it goalwards, left-footed, but Taylor is a pair of safe hands and he clutches onto the powerful effort.
Brunt gets booked - his first contribution of the night, that for tripping Kirm. Slovenia free-kick.
That's half time - and an ironic cheer goes up from the Northern Ireland, more out of relief I suspect. 0-0, though, and we have 15 minutes breather. Any thoughts?
Northern Ireland have been afford a big let off, Kirm wriggles free at the byline and makes advances toward Taylor's goal. He somehow prods the ball past a gaggle of defenders, but no-one is following up to tap home with the keeper grounded.
Poor delivery this time from McCann, who's corner goes straight to the near-post. Handanovic fields and Slovenia attack with Ljubijankic firing a shot past Taylor but wide of the post. Danger there - Slovenia broke very quickly.
Northern Ireland will want to get to half-time goalless, then build from there. Better still, if they could snatch a goal. Slovenia are on top at the moment though and Worthington's men have struggled to get out of their own half for a good 10 minute spell.
Better from Slovenia as Novakovic heads goalward from Kirm's cross, but Taylor is equal to it. SIgn of the danger the hosts can pose when they're allowed to knock the ball around midfield.
Birsa has another go from 30-odd yards but it sails over. Taylor yells at his defence to close down quicker.
Birsa tries a shot from distance, but Baird and Davis combine to snuff out the threat of the effort as it bounces through to the hands of Taylor.
Game has gone into a bit of a lull, not much goal mouth action - or anything else - to report at the moment...
Slovenia trying to force the issue but they're facing some stiff resistence tonight. Nigel Worthington has his team well-drilled.
Brunt hasn't seen much of the ball tonight, he needs to get more involved to have an impact for his side.
Healey has just chipped a shot on target. Doesn't cause too much concern for Handanovic but it's the first of the night.
Healey has just been booked for kicking Jokic - he was trying an overhead kick but the ref doesn't like it and the striker gets a caution.
Cathcart has just saved his side with a goal-line tackle on Birsa to prevent the midfielder from tapping the ball home from close range. Great work from the Blackpool man.
Northern Ireland sticking to their defensive duties when they don't have the ball - ten men opposing the white shirts of Slovenia.
Baird lashes a shot wide from the edge of the box, a poor effort in the end as it trickles out for a goal kick but promising pressure from the away side.
Cesar goes down in a heap under a challenge from Feeney. He realises he free-kick has been awarded and gets straight back up!
So close for Slovenia, the free-kick, in-swinging from Koren finds Kirm but he can't connect properly to the header and it goes through to Taylor. He ran into the box completely unmarked, which will be a worry for boss Worthington.
Baird is ticked off for giving away two fouls in kick succession, he's lucky to escape a booking for kicking at Radosavljevic.
Handanovic flaps at it as Feeney tries an over-head kick, but to no avail. Dangerous moments here for the hosts, they're struggling to deal with McCann's set-pieces.
Lot of high balls up to Healey, not his cup of tea to feed off. He goes down in the box under a challenge from Cesar but the ref isn't interested. They win another corner anyway.
Slovenia's turn to threaten from a set-piece, but Northern Ireland see off the danger. Referee incorrectly awards a goal-kick.
Northern Ireland flood the six yard box to surround the keeper. McAuley tries reaching a wicked delivery from McCann, but referee Pavel Balaj spots a foul.
Cathcart gets nutmegged by Birsa but his cross is cut out by Craigan. The Blackpool defender is playing out of position at left back tonight, in for the injured Jonny Evans.
Very narrow and crowded in the middle of the park. The visitors looked to get the ball down and spread it wide, but Slovenia flood men behind the ball to prevent McCann from fielding the ball wide.
Hairy moment there at the back for Slovenia. Jokic chests the ball back to Handanovic but Feeney nearly intercepts to poke the ball home. Luckily for Slovenia, the striker doesn't quite reach and the keeper claims.
Get on Skybet.com if you fancy a punt on tonight's match. Slovenia are favourites at 4/7, Northern Ireland are offered at 5/1 to take the win. The draw is 9/4.
Another man who is 50-up for his country is Northern Ireland's Stephen Craigan, the Motherwell defender. Atmosphere is building in the Petrol Arena - around a 1000 fans have made the trip over from Northern Ireland.
For Slovenia, Robert Koren makes his 50th appearance. The Hull midfielder is the captain of his national side and he will be one to watch after starring during their World Cup exploits. Slovenia's last competitive game was their 1-0 defeat to England.
Manager Nigel Worthington suffered a blow in the hours leading up to clash with Jonny Evans ruled out because of a groin injury. With Evans absent, his former Old Trafford team-mate Craig Cathcart of Blackpool was handed a debut facing the surprise World Cup qualifier. Worthington opted to go with record scorer David Healy and Warren Feeney up front in an attempt to end a run of seven matches without a goal. Kyle Lafferty was on the bench as was 17-year-old schoolboy Johnny Gorman. Northern Ireland lost 2-0 to Slovenia two years ago on the way to the hosts booking a place in South Africa.
Slovenia: Samir Handanovic, Brecko, Cesar, Jokic, Mavric, Birsa, Radosavljevic, Koren, Kirm, Novakovic, Ljubijankic. Subs: Jasmin Handanovic, Suler, Ilic, Dedic, Ilicic, Stevanovic, Matavz.
Northern Ireland: Taylor, McAuley, Cathcart, Craigan, Baird, Davis, McCann, Hughes, Brunt, Healy, Feeney. Subs: Tuffey, Clingan, Corry Evans, Lafferty, Paterson, Patterson, Gorman.
Good evening and welcome to tonight's commentary of Northern Ireland's clash with Slovenia. These two teams are battling for a place at the European Championships in 2012 and can gain an upper-hand in their bid by taking three points tonight. We're here to give you minute-by-minute up-dates of all the action from the Petrol Arena, but you can also get involved by sending me your thoughts and predictions throughout the evening. I'd love to know what you think so please don't hesitate to drop me a line on: email@example.com. Three points for Nigel Worthington's Northern Ireland would resemble a real upset, so what are the chances of it happening here in Eastern Europe? We'll soon find out. Keep tuned for the starting line-ups. Enjoy the match.