'Tough Night' As NI Defeated In Frankfurt

Northern Ireland ended the group stages of their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign with a disappointing 6-1 defeat to Germany.

It was a tough night for Michael O'Neill's side in Frankfurt but all hope is not lost for a route to the finals next summer.

The match started brightly when, as early as the seventh minute, Michael Smith sent the local travelling support into raptures with a 25-yard finish past keeper Marc-André ter Stegen into the bottom left corner after George Saville's initial ball into the box had been cleared by Toni Kroos.

The joy felt at the Commerzbank-Arena was relatively short lived, however when Serge Gnabry levelled for Germany on 19 minutes with a wonderful turn.

Two goals either side of the break then put the hosts in control.
News Image
On 43 minutes Leon Goretzka fired Germany in front from close range after Gnabry had missed connecting with Hector's cross from the left. Then, two minutes into the second half Gnabry doubled his tally to extend Germany's lead with a perfect finish into the bottom corner when Lukas Klostermann knocked a ball from the right into his path.

Gnabry grabbed his hat-trick on the hour. Julian Brandt created the opening with a quick ball towards the Bayern Munich man who held off the attentions of Tom Flanagan to slide a shot past Bailey Peacock-Farrell from an acute angle.

The scoring continued on 73 minutes with Goretzka's second of the night, a superb first time finish from the edge of the arena into the bottom left.

Brandt rounded things off in stoppage time. Receiving a ball over the top from Kross he cut inside to beat Flanagan and unleash a terrific strike into the top right which gave Peacock-Farrell no chance.

All in all the Northern Irish side suffered a devastating defeat in their final match of 2019, leaving fans desperate for a turn around in the play-offs early next year.


Related Northern Ireland News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

12 December 2019
Challenge Cup: Giants Defeated By Cardiff
The Belfast Giants took a 1-0 defeat in the opening match of their Challenge Cup quarter-final series against the Cardiff Devils on Wednesday night, 11 December,. Despite the local side throwing 38 shots on goal and Shane Owen stopping 22 of 23 shots, the Giants were shut out for their second game in a row.
11 February 2020
Woman Avoids Jail After Dogs Left To Suffer
A Co Armagh woman is facing a suspended sentence and ban from keeping animals after failing to ensure the welfare of two dogs in her care.
05 March 2020
Elderly Woman Shaken Up In Belfast Burglary
An elderly woman has been left badly shaken after a burglary at a house in north Belfast. Police say a premises in the Lismoyne Park area of the city was targeted this afternoon, Thursday 05 March. The resident, aged in her 80s, confronted an unknown male who had gained entry to the property.
24 February 2020
Viable Device Planted In Newtownabbey
Police have said the consequences of a security alert in Co Antrim which saw a viable device left in Newtownabbey could have been "devastating". Alliance Councillor Billy Webb hit out those behind the incident on Saturday 22 February. A viable device was made safe after being found in the Felden development off the Mill Road.
23 January 2020
Shock As Driver Escapes Car Wreck
Police have told of their shock after a driver walked away unscathed from a collision that left their vehicle destroyed. Pictures emerged of the wreck left from the crash on the Hydepark Road in Newtownabbey at around 1am on Thursday morning, 23 January.