1. ITV Report

McNair goal seals victory for NI over Belarus

Paddy McNair scores his first international goal to give NI the win over Belarus in Borisov. Credit: INPHO
  • Belarus 0 - 1 Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland have made it four straight wins for their best ever start to a campaign as they chase Euro 2020 qualification.

Michael O’Neill’s side left it late against Belarus, with Paddy McNair’s first international goal coming right when they really needed it.

His 86th minute effort ensured the narrow 1-0 win and kept Northern Ireland top of their group with 12 points out of 12 in the bag.

NI's Paddy McNair celebrates after scoring his first international goal against Belarus. Credit: INPHO

Nearly 700 of the Green And White Army made the trip to Borisov for Tuesday night’s game in hot and humid conditions.

It could have ended in frustration, but McNair’s breakthrough four minutes from full-time sparked wild celebrations on and off the pitch.

The Middleborough midfielder struck low to beat Belarus keeper Aleksandr Gutor as he dived to try to make the save.

The NI team celebrate their late goal, knowing a win is in sight. Credit: INPHO

It was yet another game where Northern Ireland had to dig deep to come out on top, as they showed in their game against Estonia on Saturday, coming from behind to win 2-1.

They lead their group over Germany on nine points and the Netherlands on three, while Belarus and Estonia trail at the bottom with no points.

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O’Neill’s side have given themselves every chance of qualifying for the finals of a second consecutive European tournament.

Their victory over hosts Belarus piles pressure on the Netherlands, who may have two games in hand, but have to head to Germany in September trailing Northern Ireland by nine points.

MIchael O'Neill's Northern Ireland team took on Belarus in Borisov. Credit: INPHO