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Northern Ireland suffer defeat in Euro 2020 Qualifier

Image of Northern Ireland defeat in Frankfurt last night to European giants Germany in the last game of Euro 2020 Qualifiers in Group C.

Northern Ireland travelled to Frankfurt last night to face European giants Germany in the last game of Euro 2020 Qualifiers of Group C.

The underdogs were already at a massive disadvantage with a growing illness and injury list that included talisman Jonnny Evans, Stuart Dallas, Gavin Whyte and Jamal Lewis.

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Northern Ireland took a shock early lead when Hearts defender Michael Smith rifled home a stunning first international goal in the 7th minute from 25 yards after George Saville cross was headed clear by Toni Kross.

The celebrations didn’t last long before the Germans equalized with the first Serge Gnabry goal of the night in the nineteeth minute. Goretzka gave Germany the lead just two minutes from half time when Gnabry missed but the Bayern Munich’s midfielder fought off Ferguson and his gentle effort struck the inside of Peacock-Farrell’s post before trickling over the line.

Germany doubled their lead just two minutes into the second half with the second Gnabry goal of the night which came from a clinical strike. Gnabry’s hatrick came on the hour as he held off Flanagan to get on the end of a Lukas Klostermann pass and beat visiting keeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell with a precise finish. Gnabry became the third German after Oliver Bierhoff and Christian Ziege  to score a hat trick against Northern Ireland.

Goretzka scored his second of the night when his low drive found its way through the legs of the Northern Ireland defence. In injury time, Brandt heaped more misery on top of a well beaten by misery firing the ball into the top corner to make it six.

So where do we go from here? It was confirmed last night that Northern Ireland would face Bosnia and Herzegovina in the Euro 2020 Playoffs next March, away from home thanks to Wales’ victory over Hungary.

The last time Northern Ireland met Bosnia and Herzegovina they lost both home and away, and although unfortunate to do so, their qualification for the Euro 2020 Finals is not a given.

The departing gaffer believes Northern Ireland  can approach the Euro 2020 playoff trip with a degree of confidence as long as they have their key players available.

“The fact we won’t play Germany is the first thing,” he said. “We played Bosnia in the Nations League and we should have beaten them at home and we were unfortunate to lose in Sarajevo so the experience of being there will help us.”

We will have to wait till March to see what happens next for the Green and White army!

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