Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 25 November 2014

Russia v Northern Ireland: Corry Evans sets goal of being match winner again

Back in 2010, a young Corry Evans stepped out from the shadow of older brother Jonny to earn immediate hero status in Northern Ireland.

All it took was one touch from the then 20-year-old.

A first touch after coming on as a second-half substitute.

Corry was in the right place at the right time to tap home a cross from fellow starlet Craig Cathcart to give Northern Ireland a surprise victory over Slovenia in Maribor in their opening match of their Euro 2012 qualifying campaign.

A rare away win, and indeed it was Northern Ireland's first victory against quality opposition since the World Cup qualifier against Romania in 1985.

Now two years on, Corry, who is set to play against Russia today in Moscow after the withdrawal of Newcastle United's Shane Ferguson, is hungry once again to be the Northern Ireland match winner.

Northern Ireland failed to build on that fantastic start to the European campaign and sadly finished second from bottom in their group, just ahead of the Faroe Islands.

But Evans junior believes Northern Ireland, who strangely are unbeaten in their last three World Cup qualifiers, can surprise the wounded Russians, who will be looking to bounce back after a disappointing experience in the Euro 2012 finals, tomorrow night and be the shock troopers of Group F.

“I would love to replicate my goal against Slovenia against the Russians,” says Corry.

“That was just amazing. Winning in Slovenia gave us a dream start last time but we failed to build on it.

“However, at least we showed in Slovenia that Northern Ireland can win away from home against decent opposition.

“Sure, we’ll go into this game as massive underdogs but that is fine by us.

“Russia will be eager to prove a point because by their own high standards they probably disappointed during the Euro 2012 finals and even before that during the last few years.

“They’ll also be keen to impress Fabio Capello, that’s what always happens when a new boss comes in — players raise their game to the next level.

“We need to do that for Michael O’MNeill, make sure we stick to our set–up, gameplan and achieve our goal of getting a positive result — be it a win or draw — so that it can set us up nicely for the next game against Luxembourg at Windsor Park next week.

“It’s very important we get off the mark and I see no reason why we can’t come away with something from Moscow.”

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