Northern Ireland Leave It Late

14 November 2012
Northern Ireland Leave It Late

Northern Ireland needed a 96th minute goal to rescue a 1-1 draw at home to Azerbaijan in a World Cup qualifier in Belfast.

Record scorer David Healy came off the bench to net the equaliser on a wet night at Windsor Park.

A 25-yard strike from Azeri forward Rauf Aliyev put the away side in front after just five minutes.

Northern Ireland midfielder Chris Baird had to opportunities to level the scores but both of his second -half headers failed to hit the target from close-range.

Just as it looked as though Azerbaijan would record a surprise away victory, 33-year old Healy side-footed a freekick from the edge of the box past goalkeeper Salahat Agayev to secure a draw.

It leaves Northern Ireland a point ahead of Azerbaijan in fourth place in Group F, nine points behind leaders Russia.

Scotland started life without manager Craig Levein with a 2-1 friendly win over Luxembourg. 

Blackburn striker Jordan Rhodes got both goals for interim manager Billy Stark in a far from convincing display.

Republic of Ireland went down 1-0 to Greece in a friendly in Dublin.

Jose Holebas' first ever international goal was enough to see off Giovanni Trapattoni's side.

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