NI manager O'Neill rues missed chances against Luxembourg

 

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill criticised his team's display after the 1-1 draw against Luxembourg in the World Cup qualifier in Belfast.

Dean Shiels put the hosts ahead but the visitors equalised thanks to a late Ryan McGivern own goal.

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There was no rhythm in our game in the second half - we didn't pass the ball as well as did in the first half and our energy levels dropped.

Michael O'Neill Northern Ireland manager

"I'm very disappointed. We had enough chances to win more than one game and we didn't capitalise," said O'Neill.

"We let our standards drop in the second half, they got a bit of belief and they punished us."

It was a frustrating match for Northern Ireland, who were caught offside 13 times while Kyle Lafferty netted three times only to see all three ruled out.

It means only one point has been gained following a 2-0 defeat by Russia in Friday's group opener.

And Gareth McAuley is suspended for next month's qualifier with Portugal after picking up a first-half booking.

"The game was disrupted by fussy decisions from the referee although we were not patient enough with the timing of our runs," added O'Neill.

"There was no rhythm in our game in the second half. We didn't pass the ball as well as did in the first half and our energy levels dropped.

"The boys worked very hard on Friday night and we focused on getting three points in this game, which we should have done.

"I'll have no problems picking the players up for the Portugal game as they will be keen to make amends."