Even Gareth McAuley admits that it was a pleasant surprise to be handed a start in the game which almost never started at all.
The Leicester City defender kept his place ahead of the returning Chris Baird in Saturday night's qualifier that was in doubt right up until kick-off with a waterlogged pitch.
It was also the first start McAuley was handed in a competitive game at Windsor Park.
He admitted: "I thought I played ok in the Sweden game and you're always hopeful that you'll keep your place, but realistically Chris Baird is a right-back, he plays there for his club - so it was a nice surprise.
"The manager showed faith in me by keeping me in there so hopefully I've rewarded that with a good game.
"It was great to experience a night like this at Windsor Park. It's obviously different when you are on the bench, from the outside looking in.
"When you start the game it helps you to feel involved and part of things and that makes you more comfortable in general.
"The conditions dictated that we couldn't play too much football, because when you tried to play it about, the ball was getting stuck, it wasn't pretty but it got the result in the end.
"The atmosphere was great all night but when the equaliser went in I think everyone believed that we could go on and do it."
With Denmark now taken care of McAuley and his team mates have little time to bask in the limelight before preparing for Spain on Wednesday night.
They know only three points in Gran Canaria and a win for Latvia against Sweden will make the dream a possibility.
"First and foremost we needed a win against Denmark and we've got that to keep the group alive to the final game.
"Now we can concentrate on going to Spain and hoping that three points will be enough.
"I'm not sure how many Northern Ireland fans are going to Spain, but they follow us everywhere in their numbers so hopefully we can do it for them."