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Dublin: 3°C Friday 26 February 2021
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Embarrassing own goal hands Northern Ireland fifth straight win

Kevin Malget had a night to forget at Windsor Park on Thursday.

Northern Ireland celebrate Kevin Malget's own goal.
Northern Ireland celebrate Kevin Malget's own goal.

NORTHERN IRELAND PREPARED for their Euro 2020 qualifier against Germany with a fifth straight win as Kevin Malget’s own goal gifted them a 1-0 friendly victory over Luxembourg.

Ahead of Monday’s meeting with the 2014 World Cup winners, Michael O’Neill made eight changes for Thursday’s friendly in Belfast.

A lack of cohesion in Northern Ireland’s play was evident in a first half that Luxembourg dominated, though Bailey Peacock-Farrell was not tested before Malget’s calamitous mistake put the hosts ahead.

O’Neill took the chance to blood more of Northern Ireland’s youngsters in the second half, as his side comfortably maintained their winning run.

Maurice Deville should have capped a well-crafted Luxembourg attack off in the 20th minute, but failed to keep his close-range header down.

Unfortunately for Luxembourg, Malget had no such issues at the other end eight minutes before half-time, when the defender headed George Saville’s wayward effort into his own net.

Jordan Thompson and Gavin Whyte both wanted penalties in quick succession shortly after the hour, but their appeals fell on deaf ears.

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Thompson squandered a fine chance to put the game to bed with 16 minutes remaining, though his failure to drill home Shayne Lavery’s cut-back ultimately mattered little.

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