Belfast Telegraph

Sports Awards

Goalscoring Northern Ireland hero Niall McGinn hails his greatest moment

By Paul Ferguson

A jubilant Niall McGinn admitted he was proud to be known as Northern Ireland's supersub after coming off the bench to score the second goal in the sensational victory over Ukraine in Lyon.

McGinn replaced Jamie Ward in the 69th minute and gave Northern Ireland a new attacking threat down the right before slotting home a goal he will remember for the rest of his life in the dying seconds of injury time.

McGinn pounced following a shot from Stuart Dallas which was parried into his path by goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov.

Detailing the goal, the 28-year-old, who scored as a substitute against Hungary in the opening Euro 2016 qualifier, said: "I was delighted that Josh Magennis took it round the full-back, Stuart Dallas shouted, so I left it for him. I followed up and it fell for me. I did have a quick look at the linesman to make sure I wasn't offside, but I heard no whistle so I kept running and I'm absolutely delighted.

"I, like any player, want to start games but if keeps working, why not? I was just delighted to get on the pitch.

"The manager, management team and players have all said 'Well done for biding your time - you just got rewarded by coming on and scoring like that'."

McGinn scored a famous goal in Porto as Northern Ireland drew with Portugal in Cristiano Ronaldo's 100th appearance, but he said that pales in comparison to last night in Lyon.

He said: "This is the best moment of my life. I've just scored on the European stage with millions watching around the world.

"To score in a major tournament against the best in the world, I don't think anything can top that."

Belfast Telegraph