European Championship Qualifying - Group C
Estonia1Northern Ireland2

Euro 2020 qualifiers: Estonia 1-2 Northern Ireland

Josh Magennis
Josh Magennis scored NI's late winner after being introduced in the second half

Josh Magennis scored a late winner to ensure Northern Ireland made it three wins from three in their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign with victory over Estonia in Talinn.

The hosts led at the break through captain Konstantin Vassiljev's superb low free-kick.

But, after a spell of heavy pressure, NI equalised through Conor Washington.

And Magennis scored the winner three minutes later when he turned home Jordan Jones' low cross.

Victory means Michael O'Neill's side have won all three of their qualifiers to date, having beaten Estonia and Belarus in Belfast in March.

The hosts were the better side in the first half and deservedly led at the break through Vassiljev's fine free-kick.

Madis Vihmann had a header disallowed in the first half after he was adjudged to have fouled visiting keeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell and Vassiljev rattled the crossbar early in the second half.

O'Neill's side grew into the game and looked considerably more dangerous after the introduction of Washington, Jones and Magennis in the second half.

It was Washington's enterprising run and effort that brought about their equaliser. His shot appeared to glance off the chest of Magennis and evade Estonia goalkeeper Sergei Lepmets, meaning the goal was initially awarded to Magennis, though, it was later given to Washington.

Magennis, who scored a late winner to beat Belarus in March, combined with fellow substitute Jones to complete the comeback with a fine deft touch.

Northern Ireland will look to make it four wins from four in Group C when they travel to Barysaw to play Belarus on Tuesday with a formidable double-header against the Netherlands and Germany awaiting them in the autumn.

O'Neill's substitutes change the game

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Win or bust: O'Neill says substitution gamble paid off

Despite dominating possession in the opening moments, Northern Ireland were outshone by their hosts, who are ranked 63 places below them, for much of the first half.

Estonia looked sharper, which is perhaps unsurprising given the majority of their players are midway through their club seasons, with the Estonian top flight running between March and November.

Estonia's goalscorer and captain Vassiljev looked particularly imposing in the middle of the park with Northern Ireland's midfield three of Steven Davis, Paddy McNair and George Saville struggling to take a hold of the game.

But O'Neill's side came out in the second half with a renewed vigour to their play, helped in large by the introduction of Washington, who replaced Liam Boyce at half-time.

The recently released Sheffield United forward frequently came short to receive possession and drive at the Estonia defence, where Boyce had been bullied by the powerful pairing of Karol Mets and Vihmann.

And with the introduction of Jones and Magennis, the visitors only grew in confidence as they began to create chances at will.

Saville spurned two chances in quick succession and Jonny Evans headed over from a corner as they pushed for an equaliser.

Jones was particularly impressive as he repeatedly ran at the Estonia defence and he could have made it 3-1 late on with a flashing drive that went just past the post.

But Estonia did miss a golden chance to level late on when Artjom Dmitrijev failed to get a free header on target.

Germany and Netherlands wait on the horizon

Northern Ireland boss O'Neill set a goal of picking up maximum points from his side's opening four Euro 2020 qualifiers.

Before his team's tie in Tallinn he even spoke of setting up a "three-team group" with the Netherlands and Germany, by beating Estonia and Belarus this month.

However, those aspirations were very much in danger as the game entered the closing stages at the A Le Coq Arena in Tallinn, especially for a side without an away win in their last seven attempts.

But Washington was on hand to equalise and score Northern Ireland's first away goal in 719 minutes, covering seven games, before Magennis sealed their triumph.

Northern Ireland's attentions will now turn to Tuesday's game against Belarus where a victory would see them take 12 points from their opening four qualifiers.

But even if O'Neill's side can do that, qualification for the finals is by no means secured because only two teams will progress from Group C.

And the favourites to take those two spots are four-time world champions Germany, who visit Belfast in September before an away game against Nations League finalists the Netherlands in October.

Northern Ireland then host the Netherlands in November before completing their qualifying campaign with a trip to Germany.

NI do the double over Estonia - the stats

  • Northern Ireland have won four of their six meetings with Estonia (L2), including both meetings in 2019.
  • Estonia have now lost each of their last five European Championship qualifying matches, with today seeing their only goal scored in those five defeats.
  • Northern Ireland have only lost one of their last 13 qualifying matches for the European Championship (W9 D3), with today's win extending their unbeaten run in such games to nine (W6 D3).
  • Conor Washington became the first NI player to score a goal in an away international match since Steve Davis against San Marino in September 2017, ending a run of seven games and 719 minutes without a goal away from home for the Green and White Army.
  • Josh Magennis has scored two goals in his last two appearances for Northern Ireland, one more than he managed in his previous 11.
  • There were just 167 seconds between Northern Ireland's equaliser from Conor Washington and their winning goal by Josh Magennis.
  • Konstantin Vassiljev's goal was Estonia's first scored directly from a free-kick in a European Championship qualifier since Vassiljev himself scored one in March 2011 versus Serbia.

Line-ups

Estonia

  • 12LepmetsBooked at 64mins
  • 23TenisteSubstituted forKamsat 85'minutes
  • 5Vihmann
  • 18Mets
  • 3Pikk
  • 20Dmitrijev
  • 4KaitSubstituted forTammat 84'minutes
  • 10Zenjov
  • 14Vassiljev
  • 8Sinyavskiy
  • 15SappinenSubstituted forSorgaat 61'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Aksalu
  • 2Kams
  • 6Miller
  • 7Puri
  • 9Sorga
  • 11Ojamaa
  • 13Kreida
  • 16Tamm
  • 17Roosnupp
  • 19Kallaste
  • 21Kuusk
  • 22Meerits

Northern Ireland

  • 1Peacock-Farrell
  • 19SmithSubstituted forJonesat 64'minutes
  • 20Cathcart
  • 5Evans
  • 3Lewis
  • 17McNair
  • 8Davis
  • 6SavilleBooked at 60minsSubstituted forMagennisat 69'minutes
  • 7Whyte
  • 9BoyceSubstituted forWashingtonat 45'minutes
  • 14Dallas

Substitutes

  • 2McLaughlin
  • 4McAuley
  • 10Lafferty
  • 11Ferguson
  • 12McGovern
  • 13Evans
  • 15Jones
  • 16Washington
  • 18Flanagan
  • 21Magennis
  • 22Thompson
  • 23Hazard
Referee:
Fábio Veríssimo

Match Stats

Home TeamEstoniaAway TeamNorthern Ireland
Possession
Home39%
Away61%
Shots
Home9
Away15
Shots on Target
Home3
Away5
Corners
Home4
Away7
Fouls
Home15
Away9

Live Text

Match ends, Estonia 1, Northern Ireland 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Estonia 1, Northern Ireland 2.

Attempt missed. Jordan Jones (Northern Ireland) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

Attempt missed. Artjom Dmitrijev (Estonia) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Gert Kams with a cross.

Stuart Dallas (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Dangerous play by Joonas Tamm (Estonia).

Offside, Northern Ireland. Jordan Jones tries a through ball, but Conor Washington is caught offside.

Attempt saved. Jordan Jones (Northern Ireland) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Patrick McNair.

Attempt missed. Conor Washington (Northern Ireland) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Steven Davis.

Substitution

Substitution, Estonia. Gert Kams replaces Taijo Teniste.

Substitution

Substitution, Estonia. Joonas Tamm replaces Mattias Kait.

Offside, Northern Ireland. Stuart Dallas tries a through ball, but Josh Magennis is caught offside.

Attempt missed. Sergei Zenjov (Estonia) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Konstantin Vassiljev following a corner.

Corner, Estonia. Conceded by Bailey Peacock-Farrell.

Attempt saved. Artjom Dmitrijev (Estonia) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Konstantin Vassiljev.

Goal!

Goal! Estonia 1, Northern Ireland 2. Josh Magennis (Northern Ireland) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Jordan Jones.

Stuart Dallas (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Vlasiy Sinyavskiy (Estonia).

Goal!

Goal! Estonia 1, Northern Ireland 1. Conor Washington (Northern Ireland) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Jamal Lewis.

Attempt missed. Jonny Evans (Northern Ireland) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Patrick McNair with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Northern Ireland. Conceded by Artur Pikk.

Stuart Dallas (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Erik Sorga (Estonia).

Patrick McNair (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Erik Sorga (Estonia).

Substitution

Substitution, Northern Ireland. Josh Magennis replaces George Saville.

Corner, Northern Ireland. Conceded by Artur Pikk.

Corner, Northern Ireland. Conceded by Artur Pikk.

Attempt saved. Vlasiy Sinyavskiy (Estonia) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Konstantin Vassiljev.

Attempt missed. Konstantin Vassiljev (Estonia) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

Hand ball by Gavin Whyte (Northern Ireland).

Booking

Sergei Lepmets (Estonia) is shown the yellow card.

Substitution

Substitution, Northern Ireland. Jordan Jones replaces Michael Smith.

Substitution

Substitution, Estonia. Erik Sorga replaces Rauno Sappinen.

Booking

George Saville (Northern Ireland) is shown the yellow card.

Dangerous play by George Saville (Northern Ireland).

Madis Vihmann (Estonia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. Gavin Whyte (Northern Ireland) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Patrick McNair.

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

Attempt saved. George Saville (Northern Ireland) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Patrick McNair with a cross.

goal

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Saturday 8th June 2019

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1England220010196
2Czech Rep210126-43
3Kosovo20202202
4Bulgaria302134-12
5Montenegro302137-42

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Ukraine32107167
2Luxembourg31114404
3Portugal20201102
4Lithuania201123-11
5Serbia201116-51

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Northern Ireland33006249
2Germany22005236
3Netherlands21016333
4Estonia200214-30
5Belarus300318-70

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1R. of Ireland32103127
2Switzerland21105324
3Georgia31023303
4Denmark20204402
5Gibraltar200204-40

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Hungary32015416
2Croatia32015416
3Wales21012203
4Slovakia21012113
5Azerbaijan200225-30

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Spain33008269
2Sweden32108447
3Romania31117524
4Malta310226-43
5Norway302167-12
6Faroe Islands3003310-70

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Poland33004049
2Israel32108357
3North Macedonia31114314
4Austria310235-23
5Slovenia302123-12
6Latvia300318-70

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Turkey33008089
2France32018356
3Iceland320134-16
4Albania31023303
5Moldova310228-63
6Andorra300306-60

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Belgium33008179
2Russia3201143116
3Scotland32014406
4Cyprus31026423
5Kazakhstan310237-43
6San Marino3003016-160

J

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Italy3300110119
2Finland32014226
3Greece311145-14
4Bos-Herze311145-14
5Armenia31024403
6Liechtenstein3003011-110
View full European Championship Qualifying tables

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