Northern Ireland’s Euro 2020 dreams fell at the final hurdle as Michal Duris’ extra-time winner sent Slovakia to next summer’s finals with a 2-1 win at Windsor Park.
Slovakia had led for most of normal time with the opening goal handed to them by George Saville, whose poor backwards header was pounced upon by Juraj Kucka to fire home from the edge of the box (17).
A much-improved second-half performance from the hosts was finally rewarded three minutes from full-time when Paddy McNair’s cross was bundled past his own goalkeeper by Inter Milan defender Milan Skriniar, which took the tie to extra-time.
But some more poor defending allowed a loose ball to find Duris with 10 minutes of the extra half-hour remaining, and after Bailey Peacock-Farrell allowed his shot to beat him at his near post, Northern Ireland could find no way back as their qualification hopes were extinguished in the play-off final.
More to follow…
Northern Ireland have a Nations League double header against Austria and Romania coming up before the international break concludes, with both live on Sky Sports.
Their visit to Austria is live on Sky Sports Football this Sunday from 7.30pm; Kick-off at 7.45pm. Then see them host Romania in their final group game live on Sky Sports Mix next Wednesday from 7.30pm; Kick-off at 7.45pm.