Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 December 2014

Northern Ireland: How the players rated

Maik Taylor
Maik Taylor - 8
A man of the match contender after producing stunning saves to foil Zdravko Kuzmanovic and Zoran Tosic. Like a fine wine, he's getting better with age. Another European Championship campaign awaits
Jonny Evans - 7
Northern Ireland had a penalty shout for handball following his cross into the penalty area. Made a few important interceptions before retiring from the game with a calf strain at the break
George McCartney - 7
Made a crucial early header to prevent Danko Lazovic breaking clear. Solid and commanding, a welcome return to the international fold for the Sunderland man who is often struck down by injury
Aaron Hughes - 7
Fulham centre half was cool and composed at the back. The skipper kept the defence well organised to knock back some dangerous counter attacking. Strong in the air and on the ground
Chris Baird - 7
Made some timely challenges and came close to scoring with a glancing header from Chris Brunt's corner. His cross gave Kyle Lafferty a goal-scoring chance but the Rangers striker failed to take it
Stephen Craigan - 8
Almost netted with a powerful downward header but the keeper Bojan Isailovic produced a fine save. Another no-nonsense performance from the Motherwell man in the heart of Worthington's impressive defence
Niall McGinn - 8
Forced keeper Isailovic to dig the ball out from underneath his crossbar. A real livewire on the right wing, brimming with confidence despite his lack of international experience. Already a crowd favourite at Windsor
Chris Brunt - 7
His corners caused havoc in the Serbia penalty area and almost lead to a headed goal from Baird. Should have netted in the 49th minute after good work by McGinn. Looked hungry for the ball
Warren Feeney - 6
Worked hard alongside Lafferty however the home side failed to carve out many clear-cut goal-scoring chances. But plenty of hunger, commitment and tireless running from the forward
Kyle Lafferty - 6
Gave Nemanja Vidic something to think about in a typically robust performance. Almost provided an assist for Feeney during a promising opening. In the second period, he failed to connect at close range from a Baird cross
Steven Davis - 7
Rangers ace wasn't given much time on the ball to weave his magic but the Cullybackey man worked hard both in defence and attack. Still one of the key cogs in the Northern Ireland wheel
Grant McCann - 7
(For Evans 45): His 82nd minute free-kick went marginally over the bar and he also set up a late chance for Healy
Michael O'Connor - 6
(For Brunt 66): The Scunthorpe United midfielder found himself up against some classy midfield players
David Healy - 6
(For Feeney 66): He made space outside the area near the end only to send his effort across the face of the goal
Pat McCourt - 6
(For McGinn 71): Looked comfortable on the ball but failed to find a killer pass
Andy Kirk - 6
(For Lafferty 71):Was kept quiet by the Serbia defence as the home side pushed for an equaliser
Johnny Tuffey - 6
(For Taylor 78): While the Partick Thistle keeper endured a few nervous moments, his handling was good and he did well to block a shot at his near post

How each individual in the Northern Ireland team fared in the friendly match against Serbia at Windsor Park.

>>Click the image to launch gallery

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