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Healy happy to be back on the mark

David Healy scored his 36th goal for Northern Ireland on Wednesday against Azerbaijan
David Healy scored his 36th goal for Northern Ireland on Wednesday against Azerbaijan

Northern Ireland's record scorer David Healy claimed he would "die a happy man" after ending his long wait for another goal at Windsor Park.

The 33-year-old, whose goals engineered famous wins over the likes of England and Spain under Lawrie Sanchez, had not found the net for four years until Wednesday night's 1-1 draw with Azerbaijan.

Although the result was hugely disappointing, Healy's late appearance off the bench and his 95th-minute free-kick gave the home support something to cheer. Speaking after his 36th international strike, the Bury striker said: "If I die tomorrow, I'd die a happy man. I love playing for my country and I love scoring goals."

Healy added: "I didn't play here in the last few games but I always had that thought, or dream, in my head that I would love to score at least one more goal in front of the Kop at Windsor Park.

"Everyone probably knows the last time I scored a goal and I had it in my head if I could score at least one more goal at Windsor I'd be a happy man. I can go home now and be happy."

Northern Ireland should have been home and dry well before Healy's introduction and missed a handful of simple chances as the likes of Craig Cathcart, Chris Baird and Kyle Lafferty all squandered straightforward openings.

Cathcart admitted the hosts left frustrated.

"We had enough chances to win three or four games," said the Blackpool defender.

"I had chances myself but we just couldn't seem to hit the target even though we had opportunities close in around the goal.

"A few of the lads had chances but it just wasn't to be."

Press Association


From Belfast Telegraph