Was at Windsor Park last night for the World Cup Qualifier between Northern Ireland and Israel at Windsor Park. It was a familiar story to the other group games.
The frustrating thing about this game was, Israel were there for the taking. Israel are usually the 3rd team in most groups they play in. They give 1st and 2nd a tough game, but can sometimes slip up away to lower ranked teams.
Walking into Windsor Park, the atmosphere seemed quite subdued, and stayed that way through the game. The start of the game was “touchy feely”, to use a punditry phrase, before Northern Ireland started to get on top.
Steven Davis forced the Israeli keeper into a great save during the first-half. I was in The Kop and thought it was a bad miss, only realising it was a great save when watching a TV replay later on.
In truth, that was the only save he had to make, but he was put under pressure. Not enough pressure in my opinion, as far too many crosses were caught by him unchallenged.
When Israel got their first clear sight on goal, they finished it. There was no way back from that as the stuffing was knocked out of Northern Ireland. They never recovered.
As good as the finish for Israel’s second goal was, Jonny Evans really should have done better in stopping the corss.
So that’s it, another game where we can console ourselves that we gave it a go, and deserved more than we got. I do believe progress is being made under Michael O’Neill, and that it is a long term job, but it would be nice to get onto a winning run.
The worst part about international football is, there are so few games, so every game must be taken advantage of.
Was in the Lower Deck of The Kop and got some ok photos, nothing special.