August 10, 2011: UEFA Euro 2012 Qualifier, Group C:

Northern Ireland - Faroe Islands 4-0 (1-0)
1-0 Aaron Hughes 5'
2-0 Steven Davies 66'
3-0 Pat McCourt 71'
4-0 Pat McCourt 88'

Northern Ireland took the lead after only 4 minutes after a corner was knocked back in front of goal at the far post and defender Rógvi Baldvinsson failed to properly clear the ball which Aaron Hughes was quick to take advantage of and fire into the back of the net.

Although the shaky start, the Faroes improved as the game progressed and had their first go at goal with a long range shot from Jóan Símun Edmundsson, although the goalkeeper wasn’t really bothered.

Nortern Ireland appealed for a penalty on the half hour when David Healy went down under the challenge of Jónas Tór Næs who maybe clipped his heel. But Healy also went down rather easily and so thought the referee who dismissed the appeal.

Four minutes before half time Jákup Mikkelsen made a brilliant diving save to deny Healy as he just managed to get his fingertips on the ball to divert it onto the post.

The Faroes had their best opportunity of the game 10 minutes after the break when Hjallgrím Elttør went across the face of the penalty area and laid the ball over to Daniel Udsen who had a clear side of goal, but he curled the ball over the crossbar. It could so easily have been 1-1.

Instead it was Northern Ireland who doubled their lead 10 minutes later when the ball was laid back to Steven Davies who showed great skills and finesse as he instead of going for power, cleverly placed the ball into the back of the net with a first-timer from outside the penalty area. At the same time he killed the contest as the Faroese team seemed to relinquish.

That was quite evident at the 3-0 goal five minutes later as Pat McCourt on the left dribbled his way past several defenders and into the penalty and played 1-2 to get clear in front of goal for an easy finish.

It was close to 4-0 with a quarter of an hour remaining when McCourt again went solo between a bunch of players to put the ball across of the goal where a bunch of players where waiting for it, but after a scramble, the ball was heeled with no power into the palms of the goalkeeper.

But McCourt’s show wasn’t finished yet and three minutes before end of normal time he once again dribbled past several defenders to finish of with a delightful chip over the goalkeeper and into the goal for a 4-0 win. It really was a stunning goal.

Take nothing from McCourt, but the Faroese defending in the last quarter of an hour was extremely sloppy, it must be said. And again the Faroes struggle big time away from home. The away results need improvement.

Results and table

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