29/03/2007

Healy delights fans at Windsor Park

Northern Ireland football fans were last night celebrating as top goal-scoring supremo David Healy led the team to a 2-1 victory over Sweden at Windsor Park.

The Leeds striker scored both goals to make it nine in the Euro 2008 qualifying campaign and 29 in 56 international appearances, scoring in the 31st and 58th minute after Sweden scored the opening goal after 26 minutes.

The last time Northern Ireland enjoyed a similar success in a major tournament was over 20 years ago.

Dennis Wise, Leeds United boss was also in attendance last night, and the ‘Green and White Army’ serenaded him with the chant “Are you watching Dennis Wise?”

Wise had attended the game to see why Healy could not replicate his international success at a club level.

Healy, who scored his second hat-trick of the tournament against Liechtenstein at the weekend, told BBC reporters that while the first goal last night was the better of the two, the second was sweeter as it was the match winner.

He added: “They are all sweet strikes at Windsor Park.”

Sweden had a 100 per cent record in the qualification stages before the defeat, and looked set to maintain the lead when Johan Elmander scored the opener.

Meanwhile, Republic of Ireland fans were in high spirits as they beat Slovakia 1-0 at Croke Park in Dublin with a 12th-minute winner by Reading forward Kevin Doyle.

(JM/SP)

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