Northern Ireland crash back down to earth

Faroe Islands 1 Northern Ireland 1

Northern Ireland's impressive start to their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign came to a shuddering halt against traditional whipping boys, the Faroe Islands yesterday. After the satisfaction of drawing with former world champions Italy on Friday, Ireland they had to settle for a point against much lesser opposition in Toftir.

That came thanks to an equaliser from Kyle Lafferty after Christian Holst had given the Faroes a shock lead. The Rangers striker returned to the Northern Ireland starting line-up, having been rewarded for his impressive display as a substitute in the goalless draw with Italy. He replaced David Healy, who was relegated to the bench, as manager Nigel Worthington finally lost patience with a striker who has failed to score for Northern Ireland for two years.

Worthington made one other change to his side, with Celtic winger Niall McGinn replacing Grant McCann. Northern Ireland were looking to build on their good start to the qualifying campaign against a team that had lost all their four matches before yesterday.

The Faroes seemed to make their intentions clear in the first minute when striker Joan Edmundsson, who is on Newcastle's books, was spoken to by referee Cyril Zimmermann after a stiff challenge on Jonny Evans.

Three minutes later, Northern Ireland carved out the first chance of the match following a swift break. Lafferty got on the end of a cross from Gareth McAuley, only to send a soft header into the arms of goalkeeper Jakup Mikkelsen. They kept up the pace and Lafferty peeled away from his marker in the ninth minute but Mikkelsen was equal to his effort. Lafferty was finding plenty of space and sent a shot into the goalkeeper's body in the 16th minute with Warren Feeney playing a part in the move.

It was frustrating opening half for Northern Ireland. Despite having the majority of possession they were struggling to make the breakthrough. They should have taken the lead in the 50th minute when Steven Davis threaded the ball through the middle. McGinn was first to react but only succeeded in finding the side netting when it seemed he should have hit the target at least.

Worthington then made his first change, bringing on Healy for Feeney, who had been ineffective. Healy was quickly into the action and Mikkelsen had to make a smart save from him in the 53rd minute. But the Faroes took the lead in the 60th minute when Holst took advantage of some slack defensive work to steer a shot beyond Maik Taylor and into the net.

Northern Ireland hit back in search of the equaliser and Chris Baird headed wide three minutes later from a corner. Northern Ireland's pressure paid off in the 76th minute when Lafferty equalised. He linked up well with Chris Brunt before steering his effort home via the post for his eighth goal in 28 international appearances.

Faroe Islands (4-4-2): Mikkelsen; Naes, Jacobsen, Davidsen, Gregersen; Udsen, Benjaminsen, Samuelsen, Holst; Edmundsson, Elttor. Substitutes used Petersen for Udsen, 68; A Hansen for Samuelsen, 78; J Hansen for Holst, 85.

Northern Ireland (4-4-2): Taylor (Birmingham City); McAuley (Ipswich Town), J Evans (Manchester United), Craigan (Motherwell), Hughes (Fulham); Baird (Fulham), Davis (Glasgow Rangers), McGinn (Celtic), Brunt (West Bromwich Albion); Feeney (Oldham Athletic), Lafferty (Rangers). Substitutes used Healy (Sunderland) for Feeney, 51; C Evans (Manchester United) for McGinn, 84.

Referee C Zimmermann (Switzerland).

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
News
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Sport
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
sport
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little