Belfast Telegraph

Michael McGovern’s magical masterclass against World Cup champions

By Staff Reporter

Seven of Michael McGovern's wonder saves which he pulled off during the Euro 2016 thriller against Germany at the Parc des Princes stadium in Paris on Tuesday.

1 8 mins: Mesut Ozil sneaks a pass behind Northern Ireland defenders Craig Cathcart and Aaron Hughes to Thomas Muller, but brave Michael McGovern comes out to meet him to stop the Bayern Munich star before he even has the chance to go for the net. His clearance allows Northern Ireland to attack for the first time in the early stages of the game.

2 11 mins: McGovern gets a punch on a German free-kick into the box before Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil finds himself with a bit of space in the box but as the Northern Ireland defenders put the pressure on him, he scuffs the ball and McGovern makes another big save to allow Cathcart to get it out of the danger zone.

3 12 mins: Mario Gotze only has McGovern to beat but the Fermanagh man spreads himself wide to block yet another great chance for the Germans. The ball is chipped back into the box by Joshua Kimmich but it goes over the bar, under the watchful eyes of McGovern. The keeper hasn’t taken his eyes off the ball in what is already set to be a demanding night for the 31-year-old.

4 41 mins: Germany have finally got a shot past McGovern, but they’re going to have to work for any more. After four missed chances by Joachim Low’s side — three wide and another over the bar — Ozil picks out a determined Gomez who has a clear shot on goal but McGovern collects his effort with ease to defy the odds and keep Northern Ireland in contention.

5 50 mins: Gotze has another go, this time from the back post, but McGovern is too fast off the mark for the Bayern Munich midfielder and his heavy-hit shot is caught by McGovern once again. He comes back for more after the ball has been cleared, sliding in to meet a well-crossed ball, but it goes narrowly wide and McGovern is able to play it up the field.

6 82 mins: After his goal in the 30th minute, it seems Gotze just cannot get past the incredible McGovern despite his best efforts. This time McGovern manages to get himself down to the left to get his hands to Gotze’s downward header, following a great cross from Kimmich. The Germans have dominated the game but McGovern is having the game of his life.

7 89 mins: Northern Ireland are frustrating the Germans, no one more so than McGovern. Two minutes after a chance from a Germany corner goes way over the bar, they are back in the box but the Northern Ireland goalkeeper denies Gomez to keep the defeat to just 1-0. McGovern writes his way into the history books after seven sensational saves against World champions.

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