Michael Sohn

As it happened: Northern Ireland v Ukraine, Euro 2016

Join us to follow the action as Michael O’Neill’s side aim to rebound from their disappointing Group C defeat to Poland.

Welcome along to our liveblog for the second game of the day at Euro 2016 — Northern Ireland versus Ukraine.

We’ll be keeping you updated throughout this Group C encounter in Lyon, with both teams in need of a positive result having lost their respective opening games of the tournament against Poland and Germany.

Kick-off in this one is at 5pm.

Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill has made five changes to his team from Sunday’s defeat to Poland, with Kyle Lafferty among those who misses out.

Can Northern Ireland bounce back and get a win here? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter (@The42_ie, @football_ie, @PaulDollery), via e-mail ( or in the Comments section below.

These Northern Ireland fans in Lyon are in good spirits before the game. Let’s see if that’ll still be the case come full-time…

Northern Ireland fans before the game Presseye / Brian Little/INPHO Presseye / Brian Little/INPHO / Brian Little/INPHO

And we’re off…

Michael O’Neill’s players are wearing black armbands in memory of 24-year-old Northern Ireland supporter Darren Rodgers, who died tragically in Nice last week.

Good shot from distance by Dallas for Northern Ireland is well saved by Pyatov.

Positive start by Northern Ireland. They’re going right after it.

“It’s all or nothing for them this evening,” says Kevin Kilbane on TV3.

Mistake by Norwood is almost punished by Sydorchuk but his shot is blocked. Ukraine settling into it now. Keeping possession well.

Ukraine claiming a penalty for a push in the back by Davis on Kovalenko but it’s waved away.

Good work from Washington, who has been lively, but his shot from out on the left goes harmlessly wide.

Ukraine’s Yevhen Khacheridi and Northern Ireland’s Conor Washington challenge for a header…

Soccer Euro 2016 Ukraine Northern Ireland Michael Sohn Michael Sohn

Konoplyanka shoots from outside the box but it’s well off target.

Ukraine dominating possession, Northern Ireland pressing them hard and allowing them very little time on the ball. Good stuff from Michael O’Neill’s side but it won’t be easy to keep that workrate going.

Heavy rain in Lyon isn’t making it easy for the players. Greasy pitch.

Great ball in from Yarmolenko but it just misses the head of Seleznyov.

Another long-range effort, this time from Rakitskiy, is saved by McGovern. The greasy surface made it difficult for the goalkeeper, though.

Northern Ireland’s Jamie Ward and Ukraine’s Vyacheslav Shevchuk battle for the ball…

Northern Ireland v Ukraine - UEFA Euro 2016 - Group C - Parc Olympique Lyonnais Jonathan Brady Jonathan Brady

Chance for Konoplyanka on the edge of the box but he snatches at the half-volley and the less said about that, the better.

Good ball in from Ward from the right, Washington goes down under Khacheridi’s challenge but there was very little in it.

Northern Ireland fans belting out the ‘Will Grigg’s on fire’ chant, which has genuinely been the highlight of this game so far.

Hang on! Something has happened! It’s a corner for Northern Ireland!

So close! Cathcart’s header from the corner misses the target by inches. That’s the nearest we’ve been to a goal so far.

Summer in Lyon…

Soccer Euro 2016 Ukraine Northern Ireland Michael Sohn Michael Sohn

Ward’s shot from distance goes wide but it deflected for another corner.

Header this time by McAuley from Ward’s corner is easily saved by Pyatov.

Ward drives the ball across the face of goal but it’s cleared by Khacheridi. This is much better by Northern Ireland. They’re creating chances now.

Shot by Davis from a narrow angle is parried by Pyatov but the Ukrainians react quickest to clear the danger. Very encouraging from Northern Ireland in the last 10 minutes but still no breakthrough.

25,000 Northern Ireland fans in the stadium in Lyon making plenty of noise…

Northern Ireland v Ukraine - UEFA Euro 2016 - Group C - Parc Olympique Lyonnais Jonathan Brady Jonathan Brady

Half-time: Northern Ireland 0 Ukraine 0

Not a riveting first 45 minutes in Lyon by any means but surely it can only get better. For the sake of our sanity, it has to. Stick on the kettle and we’ll talk to you again in 15 minutes.

The second half is underway in the pouring rain.

Chance for Seleznyov from a corner but his header goes narrowly wide

GOAL! Northern Ireland 1 Ukraine 0 (McAuley, 49)

What a start to the second half for Northern Ireland! Great dead-ball delivery from Norwood and McAuley heads home. Excellent goal.

Nervy moment as Ukraine almost hit back immediately but Seleznyov’s header went straight at McGovern.

Ukraine turning the screw now in search of an equaliser. Northern Ireland working hard to withstand their advances.

Konoplyanka’s delivery almost goes all the way in, McGovern spills it but Northern Ireland breathe a sigh of relief.

All of a sudden, this game has turned into a cracker!

It’s torrential in Lyon now and the referee has suspended play amid hailstones.

Seems a bit of an over-reaction from the referee, in fairness. “Ridiculous,” says Kevin Kilbane.

The players are back out now. The game has resumed…

Soccer Euro 2016 Ukraine Northern Ireland Michael Sohn Michael Sohn

Brilliant stuff from Dallas down the left but his cross is a little too high for Corry Evans.

The conditions made it worse than he intended but Sydorchuk is fortunate to escape with a yellow card for that challenge on Evans.

Former Derry City man Niall McGinn is on for Jamie Ward, who’s had a great game.

They enjoyed that goal…

Northern Ireland v Ukraine - UEFA Euro 2016 - Group C - Parc Olympique Lyonnais Jonathan Brady Jonathan Brady

Glorious chance for Ukraine but Kovalenko drills it just wide from the edge of the box.

At 36 years and 194 days, Gareth McAuley is the second oldest goalscorer at a Euro finals, after Ivica Vastic (Austria) who was 38 years and 257 days old when he scored against Poland in 2008 (via

Fifteen minutes remain and Ukraine are upping the ante in search of an equaliser.

Another chance for Kovalenko just outside the box but he scuffs this one well wide.

Northern Ireland are 10 minutes away from an absolutely crucial win.

Ukraine with all the possession without creating any clear-curt chances. Can Northern Ireland hang on? They’re almost there.

Substitute Zinchenko rises highest to meet a cross from the right but his header is straight at McGovern. Paddy McNair is on for Northern Ireland. Five to go.

Actually, McNair is not on. Michael O’Neill appears to change his mind at the last minute and then the referee booked Dallas, for some reason. Bizarre incident.

Shot by Yarmolenko is pushed away by McGovern. Nervy moments for Northern Ireland.

Six additional minutes to be played here. Northern Ireland aren’t there yet.

One minute to go for Northern Ireland.

GOAL! Northern Ireland 2 Ukraine 0 (McGinn, 96)

That wraps it up for Northern Ireland as McGinn taps in from the rebound after a shot from Dallas.

Full-time: Northern Ireland 2 Ukraine 0

Superb result for Northern Ireland, who have put themselves in a strong position to qualify from Group C going into their final game against Germany, thanks to goals from Gareth McAuley and Niall McGinn…

Northern Ireland v Ukraine - UEFA Euro 2016 - Group C - Parc Olympique Lyonnais Jonathan Brady Jonathan Brady

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