Northern Ireland have suffered a second successive embarrassing defeat, going down to minnows Azerbaijan.

Michael O'Neill's side lost to Luxembourg in September but dominated the first half in Baku.

However, Rufat Dadasov fired in and, though Martin Paterson hit a post, Mahir Shukorov scored a free-kick after Jonny Evans saw red for kicking out.

World Cup Qualifying Group F

Played Won Points

Russia

9

7

21

Portugal

9

5

18

Israel

9

3

13

Azerbaijan

9

2

8

N Ireland

9

1

6

Luxembourg

9

1

6

The loss means Northern Ireland slip behind Azerbaijan to fifth in their World Cup qualifying group.

O'Neill opted for a new-look 3-5-2 formation as Northern Ireland attempted to bounce back from the humiliating 3-2 defeat by Luxembourg.

The visitors controlled the first half in the Bakcell Arena, but failed to secure a deserved lead.

Azerbaijan keeper Kamran Agayev kept out a powerful Chris Brunt strike before producing a superb reflex save with his feet from Jamie Ward's close-range header.

The hosts offered nothing in attack until midway through the half, when they squandered two good chances within three minutes.

Dadasov fired wide from 12 yards, before the unmarked Rauf Aliyev saw his back-post volley saved by an alert Roy Carroll.

Northern Ireland were soon back on top and Agayev denied Brunt again, while Ward's shot curled over the bar.

The best chance fell to Paterson on 38 minutes, with the striker put clear by Lee Hodson, only to drag his low shot wide.

Northern Ireland players are disappointed after losing 2-0 to Azerbaijan in the World Cup qualifying match in Baku.

Azerbaijan took command after the break and poor marking allowed Dadashov room to sweep the ball wide from eight yards.

Oliver Norwood's lunge at Aliyev resulted in a yellow card and a suspension for the final qualifier against Israel on Tuesday.

However, the big Kaiserslautern striker made no mistake in the 58th minute, slotting past Carroll from Aliyev's low cross for the opener.

Gareth McAuley's header found the roof of the net as Northern Ireland chased an equaliser, but the main goal threat was coming from their opponents.

A fluent move on 62 minutes ended with Aliyev's long-range strike, from a Dadasov lay-off, flying just over as a lethargic Northern Ireland failed to sustain any pressure on the home goal until the dying moments.

Steve Davis picked out Paterson with three minutes left and the Huddersfield forward's volley struck the woodwork before the ball was cleared.

In a nightmare finish for Northern Ireland, McAuley received a second yellow card of the qualifying campaign to be suspended for the Israel game along with Evans, who was shown a straight red card in injury time for kicking out at Aliyev.

With the last kick of the game, Shukurov curled the resulting 20-yard free-kick into the top corner.

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (6)

Azerbaijan

  • 01 Agayev
  • 04 Shukurov
  • 05 Allahverdiev
  • 08 Qarayev
  • 03 Ramaldanov Booked
  • 14 Sadigov
  • 15 Oglu Abdullayev (Özkara - 82' )
  • 19 Amirquliyev
  • 10 Dadashov (Huseynov - 93' )
  • 11 Aliyev
  • 17 Nadirov (Huseynov - 45' )

Substitutes

  • 02 Huseynov
  • 06 Levin
  • 07 Cavadov
  • 09 Özkara
  • 12 Nazirov
  • 13 Gökdemir
  • 16 Huseynov
  • 18 Medvedev
  • 20 Budak
  • 22 Ismayilov
  • 23 Aghayev

Northern Ireland

  • 01 Carroll
  • 02 Hodson (McGinn - 66' )
  • 10 Ferguson
  • 05 Evans Dismissed
  • 04 McAuley
  • 14 Cathcart
  • 16 Norwood Booked
  • 08 Davis
  • 19 Ward (Grigg - 84' )
  • 09 Paterson
  • 11 Brunt (McKay - 74' )

Substitutes

  • 03 Lafferty
  • 06 Baird
  • 07 McGinn
  • 12 Mannus
  • 13 Evans
  • 15 Grigg
  • 17 Bruce
  • 18 McArdle
  • 20 McKay
  • 21 Clingan
  • 22 Little
  • 23 McGovern
Ref: Andrea De Marco

Match Stats

Shots

10 22

On target

4 8

Corners

2 5

Fouls

7 12

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Azerbaijan 2, Northern Ireland 0.

90:00 +5:05 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Azerbaijan 2, Northern Ireland 0.

90:00 +4:49 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Azerbaijan 2, Northern Ireland 0. Mahir Shukurov (Azerbaijan) from a free kick with a right footed shot to the top right corner.

90:00 +3:28 Dismissal

Dismissal Jonny Evans (Northern Ireland) is shown the red card for a bad foul.

90:00 +3:26

Foul by Jonny Evans (Northern Ireland).

90:00 +3:26

Rauf Aliyev (Azerbaijan) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

90:00 +2:49 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Azerbaijan. Badavi Huseynov replaces Rufat Dadashov.

90:00 +1:52

Attempt missed. Steven Davis (Northern Ireland) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Billy McKay.

89:53

Foul by Billy McKay (Northern Ireland).

89:53

Rahid Amirquliyev (Azerbaijan) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

88:07

Foul by Gareth McAuley (Northern Ireland).

88:07

Rufat Dadashov (Azerbaijan) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

87:31

Attempt missed. William Grigg (Northern Ireland) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Oliver Norwood with a cross following a corner.

86:59

Corner, Northern Ireland. Conceded by Kamran Agayev.

86:58

Attempt saved. Martin Paterson (Northern Ireland) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Steven Davis.

86:48

Martin Paterson (Northern Ireland) hits the right post with a right footed shot from the right side of the box. Assisted by Steven Davis.

85:54

Attempt missed. Oliver Norwood (Northern Ireland) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

84:59

Hand ball by Mahir Shukurov (Azerbaijan).

83:38 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Northern Ireland. William Grigg replaces Jamie Ward.

82:36

Attempt blocked. Martin Paterson (Northern Ireland) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jamie Ward.

81:25 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Azerbaijan. Cihan Özkara replaces Araz Abdullayev.

78:53

Oliver Norwood (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

78:53

Foul by Rahid Amirquliyev (Azerbaijan).

77:28

Foul by Gareth McAuley (Northern Ireland).

77:28

Rauf Aliyev (Azerbaijan) wins a free kick on the left wing.

76:40

Foul by Martin Paterson (Northern Ireland).

76:40

Rashad F. Sadigov (Azerbaijan) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

75:57

Attempt missed. Rauf Aliyev (Azerbaijan) left footed shot from the left side of the box is too high following a corner.

75:07

Corner, Azerbaijan. Conceded by Jonny Evans.

73:30 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Northern Ireland. Billy McKay replaces Chris Brunt.

71:31

Attempt blocked. Mahir Shukurov (Azerbaijan) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

70:38

Foul by Jonny Evans (Northern Ireland).

70:38

Rauf Aliyev (Azerbaijan) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

69:02

Attempt missed. Chris Brunt (Northern Ireland) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

68:26

Offside, Azerbaijan. Mahir Shukurov tries a through ball, but Araz Abdullayev is caught offside.

65:58 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Northern Ireland. Niall McGinn replaces Lee Hodson.

63:28

Attempt missed. Oliver Norwood (Northern Ireland) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left from a direct free kick.

62:43 Booking

Booking Rasim Ramaldanov (Azerbaijan) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

62:38

Hand ball by Rasim Ramaldanov (Azerbaijan).

61:26

Attempt missed. Rauf Aliyev (Azerbaijan) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top left corner. Assisted by Rufat Dadashov.

60:12

Attempt missed. Gareth McAuley (Northern Ireland) header from the right side of the box is too high. Assisted by Chris Brunt with a cross following a corner.

59:47

Attempt blocked. Steven Davis (Northern Ireland) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Shane Ferguson with a cross.

59:47

Corner, Northern Ireland. Conceded by Rashad F. Sadigov.

57:34 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Azerbaijan 1, Northern Ireland 0. Rufat Dadashov (Azerbaijan) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Rauf Aliyev.

55:10

Attempt saved. Mahir Shukurov (Azerbaijan) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

54:15 Booking

Booking Oliver Norwood (Northern Ireland) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

54:14

Foul by Oliver Norwood (Northern Ireland).

54:14

Rauf Aliyev (Azerbaijan) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

50:11

Attempt saved. Jamie Ward (Northern Ireland) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Martin Paterson.

48:52

Offside, Azerbaijan. Mahir Shukurov tries a through ball, but Rufat Dadashov is caught offside.

45:44

Corner, Northern Ireland. Conceded by Rashad F. Sadigov.

45:00

Second Half begins Azerbaijan 0, Northern Ireland 0.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Azerbaijan. Javid Huseynov replaces Vuqar Nadirov.

45:00 +0:08 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Azerbaijan 0, Northern Ireland 0.

40:05

Foul by Martin Paterson (Northern Ireland).

40:05

Elnur Allahverdiev (Azerbaijan) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

39:13

Jamie Ward (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick on the left wing.

39:13

Foul by Rasim Ramaldanov (Azerbaijan).

37:49

Attempt missed. Martin Paterson (Northern Ireland) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Lee Hodson with a through ball.

36:26

Attempt missed. Jamie Ward (Northern Ireland) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Lee Hodson.

35:51

Shane Ferguson (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

35:51

Foul by Mahir Shukurov (Azerbaijan).

34:24

Attempt missed. Rauf Aliyev (Azerbaijan) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Vuqar Nadirov.

33:57

Attempt saved. Jamie Ward (Northern Ireland) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Steven Davis.

32:06

Corner, Northern Ireland. Conceded by Kamran Agayev.

32:03

Attempt saved. Chris Brunt (Northern Ireland) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Steven Davis.

28:45

Offside, Azerbaijan. Vuqar Nadirov tries a through ball, but Rufat Dadashov is caught offside.

28:43

Attempt blocked. Vuqar Nadirov (Azerbaijan) right footed shot from long range on the left is blocked. Assisted by Rauf Aliyev.

27:28

Corner, Azerbaijan. Conceded by Roy Carroll.

27:26

Attempt saved. Rauf Aliyev (Azerbaijan) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Mahir Shukurov.

26:12

Attempt saved. Chris Brunt (Northern Ireland) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Steven Davis.

24:31

Attempt missed. Rufat Dadashov (Azerbaijan) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Rauf Aliyev.

23:10

Rasim Ramaldanov (Azerbaijan) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

23:10

Foul by Gareth McAuley (Northern Ireland).

23:03

Attempt blocked. Chris Brunt (Northern Ireland) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Oliver Norwood.

22:31

Corner, Northern Ireland. Conceded by Kamran Agayev.

22:29

Attempt saved. Jamie Ward (Northern Ireland) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Martin Paterson with a cross.

21:26

Offside, Northern Ireland. Jonny Evans tries a through ball, but Martin Paterson is caught offside.

18:35

Rauf Aliyev (Azerbaijan) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

18:35

Foul by Oliver Norwood (Northern Ireland).

18:08

Attempt missed. Jamie Ward (Northern Ireland) left footed shot from the left side of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Chris Brunt.

16:19

Rasim Ramaldanov (Azerbaijan) wins a free kick on the right wing.

16:19

Foul by Martin Paterson (Northern Ireland).

14:53

Attempt saved. Chris Brunt (Northern Ireland) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Martin Paterson.

9:05

Chris Brunt (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

9:05

Foul by Elnur Allahverdiev (Azerbaijan).

8:03

Offside, Azerbaijan. Qara Qarayev tries a through ball, but Vuqar Nadirov is caught offside.

7:12

Attempt missed. Martin Paterson (Northern Ireland) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

5:39

Offside, Northern Ireland. Steven Davis tries a through ball, but Jamie Ward is caught offside.

4:33

Attempt saved. Chris Brunt (Northern Ireland) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Lee Hodson with a headed pass.

2:54

Foul by Rahid Amirquliyev (Azerbaijan).

2:54

Oliver Norwood (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

2:03

Mahir Shukurov (Azerbaijan) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

2:03

Foul by Shane Ferguson (Northern Ireland).

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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