Euro play-off semi-final: Niall McGinn dedicates play-off win to Northern Ireland fans


Niall McGinn celebrates after netting the second-half equaliser in Sarevejo
Niall McGinn celebrates after netting the second-half equaliser in Sarevejo

Northern Ireland scorer Niall McGinn dedicated the Euro 2020 play-off semi-final victory over Bosnia-Herzegovina to the team’s supporters.

McGinn scored a second-half equaliser before NI won on penalties but, due to Covid restrictions, no away fans were present to witness the success.

“What a night. We’ve got the support from back home, that one’s definitely for the fans,” said the winger.

“It’s unbelievable, what a feeling – the team spirit has been brilliant.”

The Aberdeen man muscled through before delivering a cool finish to cancel out Rade Krunic’s first-half opener.

The game finished 1-1 after extra-time and a 4-2 shootout win sets up a play-off decider against Slovakia at Windsor Park on 12 November.

McGinn is a man for the big occasion and scored in Northern Ireland’s famous victory over Ukraine at Euro 2016.

“I’m delighted personally to get the goal that got us back into the game. I was there for the flick-on I slotted it in well,” said McGinn, who was a surprise starter on Thursday night.

“More importantly, we’re one step closer. Just the sheer determination of the boys, the work-rate and work ethic among the squad, the team spirit has been absolutely brilliant.

Niall McGinn fires home the goal which helped Northern Ireland progress to the play-off final
Niall McGinn fires home the goal which helped Northern Ireland progress to the play-off final

“We didn’t get off to the best of starts, but we showed character. We regrouped at half-time and started the second half very well. I got a bit of joy down the left and got a few crosses in.

“For the boys to step up to take the penalties when it mattered most was unbelievable and Bailey (Peacock-Farrell) made some great saves and has been brilliant.

“I’ve been training hard, working hard and fair play to the manager (Ian Baraclough) for bringing me in and selecting me. I’ve repaid his faith in me by scoring an important goal. I’ve always been renowned for scoring important goals and thankfully I’ve got another one.

“There’s always been confidence. Even when we met up this week there was a real edge to training. That’s us ready to rock in Belfast next month.”

Banner Image Reading Around the BBC - BlueFooter - Blue



BBC News