11/02/2009

Supporters Backing An NI Win

A victory and three points toward World Cup qualification are in the sights for Northern Ireland soccer fans arriving in San Marino today for this evening's away World Cup qualifier.

Approximately 1,300 supporters are expected to be supporting Nigel Worthington's side against San Marino, who has never won a competitive game and lies joint last in 201st place in the Fifa world rankings

With Northern Ireland currently fifth in Group Three, fans are seeking their first victory away from home in this campaign, especially as even with a win tonight, the next three games remain particularly important.

Northern Ireland has a double-header next month at Windsor Park, when they face Poland and Slovenia respectively.
News Image
However, even the omission of Norwich City midfielder Sammy Clingan, and Doncaster midfielder Dean Shiels - who has also been ruled out due to an ankle injury - has failed to dampen spirits for the Green and White Army of NI supporters at the Stadio Olimpico Stadium on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, long-term injury absentee Damien Johnston is expected to return to the Northern Ireland midfield for the clash in Seravalle tonight.

With San Marino being billed, as the "worst international team" in the Fifa world rankings - expectations are high for an NI win.

However, failure to record a win over Europe's lowest ranked nation will bring to an end Northern Ireland's hopes of reaching South Africa for the World Cup.

(BMcC/JM)

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

19 March 2019
Three Dead After St Patrick's Event In Cookstown
Police have confirmed the identities of three teenagers who died in an apparent crush at a County Tyrone hotel on St Patrick's Day. The young victims, 16-year-old Connor Durrie, 17-year-old Lauren Bullock and 17-year-old Morgan Barnard, died after the incident at the Greenvale Hotel in Cookstown on Sunday 17 March.
05 September 2001
A World Cup qualifying win is a must for Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland go into tonight’s World Cup qualifier against Iceland knowing a win is essentially if the team are to build on Saturday’s superb 1-1 draw with Denmark in Copenhagen.
10 February 2009
Healy And Paterson To Lead NI Assault
Top Northern Ireland striker David Healy is looking to continue his goalscoring form in a crucial World Cup qualifier this week in the Italian-speaking country of San Marino.
27 November 2007
Northern Ireland To Met Eastern Europe In World Cup Qualifiers
There'll be divided loyalties next year when the increasing number of Czech and Polish nationals now living and working in Northern Ireland will have to choose which team to cheer on in the forthcoming 2010 World Cup qualifiers.
29 July 2003
McIlroy awarded extension to contract
Northern Ireland football team manager Sammy McIlroy has been rewarded with a two-year extension to his current contract following a meeting of the IFA's international committee. The new deal, which will see McIlroy take his new crop of youngsters into the 2006 World Cup campaign, comes despite his side's failure to score in 972 minutes of action.