Although Northern Ireland had majority of possession in the first half, the Faroese defence was happy just soaking up the pressure as it rarely got really dangerous. After an early header which Jákup Mikkelsen in the Faroese goal dealt with easily, the visitor’s best chance came after 15 minutes from a long distance effort from Kyle Lafferty which Mikkelsen just managed to tip over the bar.
During the next 10 minutes the pressure on the Faroese goal mounted, but Northern Ireland seemed to lack attacking qualities to really test the Faroese defence. – A couple of low crosses created some danger, but were blocked by the defender in the last moment.
The pressure wore of again and the Faroes started coming forward at the other end. Christian Lamhauge Holst had the best opportunity when he turned on the edge of the penalty area to get the shot in, but the goalkeeper Maik Taylor didn’t have too many difficulties in making the save.
A free kick in a dangerous position should have produced more for the Faroes than shooting straight into the wall. Although it was in perfect Daniel Udsen-range, Lamhauge Holst was preferred as executer.
0-0 at half time was probably a fair score-line, although Northern Ireland had had the upper hand for much of the time.
In the second half Northern Ireland had upped the tempo, and the Faroes found it difficult to hold on to the ball. In the early minutes after the restart, McGinn was released, but although he managed to round the advancing Mikkelsen in goal, he missed the target from a somewhat acute angle. However, an international player ought to have done better.
A while later, Lafferty's header looked to be going in, but Mikkelsen produced the save of his life as got his palm behind the ball to stop it from going into the top corner.
But then it happened, on the hour mark! Daniel Udsen found Lamhauge Holst in the penalty area who, although surrounded by three defenders, somehow managed to turn and twist to get clear and fire low into the back of the net to give the Faroe Islands the lead.
Northern Ireland then poured on the pressure in quest for an equalizer and came close with a free header which went just off target. A very narrow escape for the Faroe Islands!
As the Faroes were doing nothing else than defending, instead of trying to play the ball around, Nortern Ireland managed to sustain the pressure rather easily and with 14 minutes remaining, it paid dividend:
The Faroes failed to stop Lafferty from dribbling across the face of the penalty area, before he played the ball to Chris Brunt on the left who managed to get two defenders to commit with a simple shot feint before he played the ball back to Lafferty who fired low in off the post to grab the equalizer.
After the equalizer, the pressure on the Faroese goal eased and time quickly ebbed away from Northern Ireland to prevent the same result as in 1991, when the Faroes in their third ever qualifier managed a 1-1 draw in Belfast.