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Sub Kyle Lafferty bags brace as Northern Ireland overcome minnows San Marino

Published 08/10/2016

Northern Ireland's Steve Davis scores a penalty during this evenings game at the National Stadium in Belfast.
Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Northern Ireland's Steve Davis scores a penalty during this evenings game at the National Stadium in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 8-10-16 Northern Ireland v San Marino - World Cup Qualifier Northern Ireland's Stuart Dallas and San Marinos Aldo Simoncini during this evenings game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 8-10-16 Northern Ireland v San Marino - World Cup Qualifier Northern Ireland's Stuart Dallas can't beleived he missed an open net during this evenings game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 8-10-16 Northern Ireland v San Marino - World Cup Qualifier Northern Ireland's fans enjoy the half-time entertainment during this evenings game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 8-10-16 Northern Ireland v San Marino - World Cup Qualifier Northern Ireland's fans enjoy the half-time entertainment during this evenings game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 8-10-16 Northern Ireland v San Marino - World Cup Qualifier Northern Ireland's Conor Washington gets a shot away during this evenings game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 8-10-16 Northern Ireland v San Marino - World Cup Qualifier Northern Ireland's Jamie Ward and San Marinos Matteo Vitaioli during this evenings game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 8-10-16 Northern Ireland v San Marino - World Cup Qualifier Northern Ireland's Conor Washington and looks to the heavens after missing a chance during this evenings game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Golfer Rory McIlroy shares a joke with NI Football legend Harry Gregg pictured at the National Football Stadium Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup Qualifier Group C Northern Ireland Manager Michael O'Neill during this evenings game at the National Stadium in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Golfer Rory McIlroy with FIFA President, Gianni Infantino and Marco Van Basten at the National Football Stadium Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup Qualifier Group C Northern Ireland Manager Michael O'Neill speaks to Oliver Norwood during this evenings game at the National Stadium in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup Qualifier Group C San Marinos Mirko Paiazzi is sent off during this evenings game at the National Stadium in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 08th October 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Steven Davis scoring a penalty against San Marino during Saturday nights World Cup 2018 Qualifier at the National Stadium at Windsor Park.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup Qualifier Group C San Marinos Mirko Paiazzi is sent off during this evenings game at the National Stadium in Belfast. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier First Minister Arlene Foster and Communities Minister Paul Givan celebrate the first goal at the game. Photo by William Cherry / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 08th October 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Steven Davis celebrates scoring against San Marino during Saturday nights World Cup 2018 Qualifier at the National Stadium at Windsor Park.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 08th October 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Steven Davis celebrates scoring against San Marino during Saturday nights World Cup 2018 Qualifier at the National Stadium at Windsor Park.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 08th October 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Steven Davis scoring a penalty against San Marino during Saturday nights World Cup 2018 Qualifier at the National Stadium at Windsor Park.
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 08th October 2016 - Photo by William Cherry To mark the official opening of the National Stadium at Windsor Park, some famous Northern Ireland faces from sport, tv and music to do a lap of the pitch before Northern Ireland took on San Marino in the World Cup 2018 Qualifier. Pictured with the fans is Denis Taylor
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 08th October 2016 - Photo by William Cherry Northern Ireland's Steven Davis celebrates scoring against San Marino during Saturday nights World Cup 2018 Qualifier at the National Stadium at Windsor Park.
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye Northern Ireland's Conor McLauglin and San Marino's Mirko Palazzi in action during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier and opening game at the newly developed National Stadium - Windsor Park on 8th October 2016 , Belfast , Northern Ireland Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye San Marino's Mirko Palazzi sent off in action during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier and opening game at the newly developed National Stadium - Windsor Park on 8th October 2016 , Belfast , Northern Ireland Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup Qualifier Group C Northern Ireland’s Gareth McCauley and San Marino’s Mattia Stefanelli during this evenings game at the National Stadium in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup Qualifier Group C Northern Ireland’s Conor McLaughlin and Oliver Norwood with Luca Tosi of San Marino during this evenings game at the National Stadium in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup Qualifier Group C Northern Ireland’s Stuart Dallas and San Marino’s Matteo Vitaioli during this evenings game at the National Stadium in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup Qualifier Group C Northern Ireland’s Stuart Dallas and San Marino’s Matteo Vitaioli during this evenings game at the National Stadium in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup Qualifier Group C Northern Ireland’s Jamie Ward and Alessandro Della Valle of San Marino during this evenings game at the National Stadium in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 8-10-16 Northern Ireland v San Marino - World Cup Qualifier Northern Ireland's Conor Washington and San Marinos Alessandro Della Valle during this evenings game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 8-10-16 Northern Ireland v San Marino - World Cup Qualifier Northern Ireland's Jamie Ward scores during this evenings game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 8-10-16 Northern Ireland v San Marino - World Cup Qualifier Northern Ireland's Jamie Ward celebrates his goal during this evenings game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty scores in action during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier and opening game at the newly developed National Stadium - Windsor Park on 8th October 2016 , Belfast , Northern Ireland Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye Northern Ireland's Kyle Lafferty scores in action during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier and opening game at the newly developed National Stadium - Windsor Park on 8th October 2016 , Belfast , Northern Ireland Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 -Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Selfie time for Actor James Nesbitt, Snow Patrol's Gary Lightbody and Dame Mary Peters attending The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony before Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Brian Little/ Press Eye

Substitute Kyle Lafferty scored twice as Northern Ireland recorded a 4-0 victory over minnows San Marino in the first international to be staged at the refurbished Windsor Park.

A crowd of 18,234 witnessed Lafferty's goals and strikes from Steven Davis and Jamie Ward, as well as a San Marino red card, as Michael O'Neill's side avoided any drama in their World Cup qualifier ahead of Tuesday's clash with Germany.

Davis converted a first-half penalty after Josh Magennis had been hauled down by Alessandro Della Valle, with the Southampton midfielder scoring his ninth international goal, seven of which have come in the month of October, before Lafferty and Ward enhanced the scoreline by scoring three times between them in the final 11 minutes.

A crowd that included Rory McIlroy, Carl Frampton and FIFA president Gianni Infantino would have been anticipating a routine home triumph, yet the role of favourites has not always suited Norn Iron, as defeats to Luxembourg and Azerbaijan in the previous World Cup qualifying campaign attest to.

Infantino had declared the stadium "absolutely beautiful" and O'Neill's team were intent on christening their new home with a win.

The thinking behind including Magennis and Niall McGinn in the XI was evident from the start with a raft of right-wing crosses from the latter in the Charlton striker's direction.

Stuart Dallas almost reached one McGinn centre but there was little to trouble a team that had conceded 17 times in their previous two away encounters, and in Jose Hirsch they even had a player presenting a goal threat as he struck over the crossbar.

O'Neill and the crowd could relax a little in the 26th minute when Davis scored from the spot, continuing his excellent run of form in October internationals, after Magennis was brought to the deck by Della Valle's clumsy challenge.

It may have been 1-0 at the break, but any suggestion San Marino had aspirations beyond a slender defeat were dismissed when Mirko Palazzi was sent off for a second yellow card.

He did not help a country that have never won a competitive game in their entire history by impeding Michael McGovern as he tried to throw out to add a second yellow card to the one he earned after flattening McGinn in the first period.

The official opening of the National Stadium this evening Pat Jennings & Mary Peters pictured
Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
The official opening of the National Stadium this evening Pat Jennings & Mary Peters pictured Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Pat Jennings at the official opening of the Northern Ireland National Stadium. Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Pat Jennings and Michael Boyd pictured at the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye Charlie Lawson Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye James Nesbitt Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Pacemaker Belfast 8-10-16 Northern Ireland v San Marino - World Cup Qualifier Northern Ireland's /ni and San Marinos /sm during this evenings game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 8-10-16 Northern Ireland v San Marino - World Cup Qualifier Northern Ireland's /ni and San Marinos /sm during this evenings game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 8-10-16 Northern Ireland v San Marino - World Cup Qualifier Northern Ireland's /ni and San Marinos /sm during this evenings game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye James Nesbitt Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye Charlie Lawson Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye Carl Frampton with his daughter Carla Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup qualifier Group C The official opening of the National Stadium this evening Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup qualifier Group C The official opening of the National Stadium this evening Carl Frampton pictured Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup qualifier Group C The official opening of the National Stadium this evening Carl Frampton pictured Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup qualifier Group C The official opening of the National Stadium this evening Carl Frampton pictured Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup qualifier Group C The official opening of the National Stadium this evening Carl Frampton pictured Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup qualifier Group C The official opening of the National Stadium this evening Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye Charlie Lawson Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye Charlie Lawson Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye Charlie Lawson Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye Charlie Lawson Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye Charlie Lawson Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness with Gerry Mallon from the Irish FA watches Northern Ireland vs San Marino Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup qualifier Group C The official opening of the National Stadium this evening Charlie Lawson pictured Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup qualifier Group C Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup qualifier Group C The official opening of the National Stadium this evening Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup qualifier Group C The official opening of the National Stadium this evening Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup qualifier Group C The official opening of the National Stadium this evening Sammy McIlroy pictured Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup qualifier Group C The official opening of the National Stadium this evening Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup qualifier Group C The official opening of the National Stadium this evening Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness with Gerry Mallon from the Irish FA watches Northern Ireland vs San Marino Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness with Gerry Mallon from the Irish FA watches Northern Ireland vs San Marino Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness with Gerry Mallon from the Irish FA watches Northern Ireland vs San Marino Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 -Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Goal keeping Legends Harry Gregg and Pat Jennings attending The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony before Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Brian Little/ Press Eye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 7th October 2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino at the National Stadium, Belfast. Northern Ireland football stars Pat Jennings and Harry Gregg help Jay and Ellie cut the ribbon to official open the new stadium for the fans. Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 7th October 2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino at the National Stadium, Belfast. Northern Ireland football stars Pat Jennings and Harry Gregg help Jay and Ellie cut the ribbon to official open the new stadium for the fans. Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 -Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Goal keeping Legends Harry Gregg and Pat Jennings attending The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony before Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Brian Little/ Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 -Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Actor Jimmy Nesbitt attending The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony before Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Brian Little/ Press Eye
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland 8th October FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier - Northern Ireland Vs San Marino at The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park in Belfast Northern Ireland's fans. Picture by Jonathan Porter/Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Eamonn Holmes pictured at the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye Gary Lightbody Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye Gary Lightbody Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye Eamonn Holmes Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye Gary Lightbody Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye Charlie Lawson Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye Charlie Lawson Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye Charlie Lawson Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye James Nesbitt Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye James Nesbitt Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye Carl Frampton with his daughter Carla Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye Carl Frampton with his daughter Carla Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye Carl Frampton with his daughter Carla Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Pacemaker Belfast 8-10-16 Northern Ireland v San Marino - World Cup Qualifier Northern Ireland's /ni and San Marinos /sm during this evenings game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 8-10-16 Northern Ireland v San Marino - World Cup Qualifier Northern Ireland's /ni and San Marinos /sm during this evenings game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Pacemaker Belfast 8-10-16 Northern Ireland v San Marino - World Cup Qualifier Northern Ireland's /ni and San Marinos /sm during this evenings game at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photo by David Maginnis/Pacemaker Press
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Gerry Armstrong pictured at the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Jim Nesbitt pictured at the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Pat Jennings and Michael Boyd pictured at the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier General view of fans Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Carl Frampton pictured at the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Gerry Armstrong pictured at the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Carl Frampton pictured at the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
8 October 2016 - Picture by Darren Kidd / Press Eye. Challenge Cup: Stena Line Belfast Giants v Braehead Clan at the SSE Arena Belfast. Belfast Giant Chris Higgins scores against Braehead during Saturday nights Challenge Cup game at the SSE Arena, Belfast.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup qualifier Group C The official opening of the National Stadium this evening with a lap of former Northern Ireland legends. Jimmy Nesbitt pictured Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup qualifier Group C The official opening of the National Stadium this evening with a lap of former Northern Ireland legends. Jimmy Nesbitt pictured Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup qualifier Group C The official opening of the National Stadium this evening Pat Jennings pictured Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup qualifier Group C The official opening of the National Stadium this evening Pat Jennings & Mary Peters pictured Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup qualifier Group C The official opening of the National Stadium this evening with a lap of former Northern Ireland legends. Jimmy Nesbitt pictured Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup qualifier Group C The official opening of the National Stadium this evening with a lap of former Northern Ireland legends. Jimmy Nesbitt pictured Photo Colm Lenaghan/Pacemaker Press
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier FIFA President, Gianni Infantino at the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier General view of the plaque at the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Communities Minister Paul Givan is pictured with FIFA President, Gianni Infantino and Irish FA President, David Martin at the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 -Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Northern Ireland fan Anne Cullen from Donaghmore attending The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony before Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Brian Little/ Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 -Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Northern Ireland fans Joshua (7) and Caleb Crooks (6) from Coagh attending The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony before Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Brian Little/ Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 -Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Northern Ireland fans Alastair, scott and Alexandra Carnwath from Antrin attending The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony before Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Brian Little/ Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 -Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Northern Ireland fans Matthew Denny,David Irwin,Matthew Irwin and Rachel Walker attending The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony before Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Brian Little/ Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Picture - Kevin Scott / Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Kevin Scott / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 -Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Northern Ireland fan Louise Beacom from Omagh attending The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony before Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Brian Little/ Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 -Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Northern Ireland fans Stephen and Sarah Cameron from Antrim attending The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony before Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Brian Little/ Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 -Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Northern Ireland fan Aaron Crawford from Londonderry attending The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony before Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Brian Little/ Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 -Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Northern Ireland fans Mark Alexander ans eight year old Adam from Armagh attending The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony before Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Brian Little/ Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 -Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Northern Ireland fans Joshua (7) and Caleb Crooks (6) from Coagh attending The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony before Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Brian Little/ Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 -Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Northern Ireland fans Alastair, scott and Alexandra Carnwath from Antrin attending The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony before Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Brian Little/ Press Eye
First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness are pictured with FIFA President, Gianni Infantino and Irish FA President, David Martin at the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 -Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Northern Ireland fan Anne Cullen from Donaghmore attending The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony before Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Brian Little/ Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 -Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Northern Ireland fans Matthew Denny,David Irwin,Matthew Irwin and Rachel Walker attending The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony before Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Brian Little/ Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier First Minister Arlene Foster and Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness are pictured with Communities Minister Paul Givan, Marco Van Basten, FIFA President, Gianni Infantino and Irish FA President, David Martin before the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland 8th October FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier - Northern Ireland Vs San Marino at The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park in Belfast Northern Ireland's in the new kopstand Picture by Jonathan Porter/Press Eye
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland 8th October FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier - Northern Ireland Vs San Marino at The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park in Belfast Northern Ireland's fans(left to right) Richard Kennedy, John Clarke, Joesph Rea(6) and Laura Clarke from Comber Picture by Jonathan Porter/Press Eye
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland 8th October FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier - Northern Ireland Vs San Marino at The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park in Belfast Northern Ireland's fans. Picture by Jonathan Porter/Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Jimmy Nesbitt pictured at the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Jimmy Nesbitt pictured at the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Eamonn Holmes pictured at the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Gary McAllister pictured at the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye Belfast - Northern Ireland 8th October FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier - Northern Ireland Vs San Marino at The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park in Belfast Northern Ireland fan and presenter Colin Murray Picture by Jonathan Porter/Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier First Minister Arlene Foster, Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, Irish FA President, David Martin and FIFA President, Gianni Infantino pictured at the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Actor Charlie Lawson pictured at the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Actor Charlie Lawson pictured at the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Actor Charlie Lawson pictured at the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Actor Charlie Lawson pictured at the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Actor Charlie Lawson pictured at the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Actor Charlie Lawson pictured at the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 - The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Actor Charlie Lawson pictured at the official opening ceremony. Photo by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 -Picture by Brian Little/PressEye World Champion Boxer Carl Frampton attending The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony before Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Brian Little/ Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 -Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Golfer Rory McIIroy attending The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony before Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Brian Little/ Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 -Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Northern Ireland team The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony before Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Brian Little/ Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 -Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Actor Jimmy Nesbitt attending The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony before Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Brian Little/ Press Eye
Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 8th October 2016 -Picture by Brian Little/PressEye Goal keeping Legends Harry Gregg and Pat Jennings attending The National Football Stadium at Windsor Park Opening Game and Ceremony before Northern Ireland vs San Marino 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifier Photo by Brian Little/ Press Eye
PACEMAKER BELFAST 08/10/2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino World Cup Qualifier Group C Northern Ireland’s Jonny Evans and San Marino’s Matteo Coppini during this evenings game at the National Stadium in Belfast. Photo Mark Marlow/Pacemaker Press
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 7th October 2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino at the National Stadium, Belfast. Fans enjoy the match. Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 7th October 2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino at the National Stadium, Belfast. Jimmy Nesbitt. Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 7th October 2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino at the National Stadium, Belfast. Fans enjoy the match. Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 7th October 2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino at the National Stadium, Belfast. Northern Ireland football stars Pat Jennings and Harry Gregg help Jay and Ellie cut the ribbon to official open the new stadium for the fans. Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 7th October 2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino at the National Stadium, Belfast. Carl Frampton along with Gerry Armstrong. Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 7th October 2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino at the National Stadium, Belfast. Fans enjoy the match. Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 7th October 2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 7th October 2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 7th October 2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino at the National Stadium, Belfast. Fans enjoy the match. Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 7th October 2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino at the National Stadium, Belfast. Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 7th October 2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino at the National Stadium, Belfast. Charlie Lawson. Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 7th October 2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino at the National Stadium, Belfast. Jimmy Nesbitt. Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye
Press Eye - Northern Ireland - 7th October 2016 Northern Ireland v San Marino at the National Stadium, Belfast. Jimmy Nesbitt. Photographer - © Matt Mackey / Press Eye

Faced with 10 men for the final 41 minutes, Northern Ireland sensed the opportunity to take advantage, though they were still only 1-0 up with 12 minutes remaining.

That was in large part down to Aldo Simoncini's plethora of saves from the likes of McGinn, Ward and substitute Conor Washington.

However, on a night when Northern Ireland amassed 33 attempts, the goals eventually came.

Lafferty, on as a 72nd-minute substitute, flicked in a second from a Shane Ferguson cross and he then headed a delivery from the same player on to Ward, who fired in a third with five minutes to go.

The cherry on the top was provided by Lafferty slotting home his 19th international goal with the final kick of the game and his performance in particular will have pleased O'Neill prior to the trip to Hannover, where a much sterner test lies in wait.

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From Belfast Telegraph