Right from Windsor Park, we bring you the player ratings of this crucial World Cup qualifier between Northern Ireland and Italy.
Italy entered this game with significant pressure as they needed a win in their final encounter against Northern Ireland in the World Cup qualifier. Although sitting on the first spot with the advantage of a goal difference, Switzerland boasted a tough fight in their fixture against Bulgaria.
And the worst nightmare turned out to be true as the home side held Azzurri back from gaining an automatic qualification from Group C. In what can be called a tight affair, the local boys did not allow the visitors to get what they were looking for.
Even though Northern Ireland had nothing to lose, they fought hard to keep their respect in this match. Italy, on the other hand, will now have to wait until March next year for the playoffs. The Swiss, however, will celebrate tonight as they washed out Bulgaria by 4-0, topping the group with 18 points.
Roberto Mancini’s men put up a great show of passing and possession, though could not convert the opportunities at disposal. Few attempts from Chiesa went narrowly wide, while Donnarumma and Bonucci saved the day for the Italians with incredible efforts in defence.
The Green and the White Army had a few golden chances of their own to upset the visiting side, but could not finish them. With a draw their way, the home team secured third place in the qualification group.
Northern Ireland: Peacock-Farrell (9), Flanagan (5), Evans (7), Cathcart (7), Dallas (5), Lewis (6), McCann (5), Davis (5), Saville (5), Whyte (5), Magennis (4).
Bench: Evans (6), Washington (6).
Italy: Donnarumma (7), Bonucci (8), Acerbi (8), Di Lorenzo (7), Emerson (8), Jorginho (7), Tonali (6), Barella (6), Berardi (7), Chiesa (4), Insigne (4).
Bench: Locatelli (6), Bernardeschi (6), Belotti (6), Scamacca (6), Cristante (6).
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