Belfast Telegraph

Greece is the word as last gasp Kyle sets up another Windsor showdown

By Steven Beacom

Northern Ireland hero Kyle Lafferty is convinced the team will qualify for the Euro 2016 finals by beating Greece at Windsor Park next month, even though he won't be able to help them do it.

Lafferty struck a match saving equaliser in the 93rd minute versus Hungary in Belfast last night to earn a 1-1 draw and keep Northern Ireland on course for France after earlier being booked, which means he will be suspended for the October 8 showdown with the Greeks.

On an evening filled with drama, Lafferty's seventh goal of the campaign came after Chris Baird had been red carded with Northern Ireland trailing to a Richard Guzmics goal following a mistake by goalkeeper Michael McGovern.

A victory would have taken the home side to next year's finals but in the end they were overjoyed with a draw.

Along with Lafferty, Baird and Conor McLaughlin will be suspended for the visit of the Greeks, when if O'Neill's men win they will become the first Northern Ireland side to qualify for the European Championship finals.

Admitting his yellow card was 'stupid', Lafferty said: "The champagne is on ice but I'm pretty sure the lads will do it in the next game.

"I don't want to put the blink on ourselves, but although we've got players missing we've got others who can come in and do a job."

Manager Michael O'Neill said: "We are still top of the group and in a great position. The match with Greece promises to be another special night at Windsor."

Belfast Telegraph