Belfast Telegraph

World Cup 2018

Fixtures & Results

Belgium BEL 5

Tunisia TUN 2

REPORT

South Korea KOR 1

Mexico MEX 2

REPORT

Germany GER 2

Sweden SWE 1

REPORT

England ENG 6

Panama PAN 1

REPORT

Japan JPN 2

Senegal SEN 2

REPORT

Poland POL 0

Colombia COL 3

REPORT

Saudi Arabia SAU

Egypt EGY

Uruguay URY

Russia RUS

Spain ESP

Morocco MAR

Iran IRN

Portugal POR

Denmark DNK

France FRA

Australia AUS

Peru PER

Iceland ISL

Croatia CRO

Nigeria NGA

Argentina ARG

Mexico MEX

Sweden SWE

South Korea KOR

Germany GER

Switzerland SUI

Costa Rica CRI

Serbia SRB

Brazil BRA

Senegal SEN

Colombia COL

Japan JPN

Poland POL

Panama PAN

Tunisia TUN

England ENG

Belgium BEL

Evans happy to step into Big G's goalscoring role

 

By Steven Beacom

Jonny Evans revealed he had to take up the mantle of his goalscoring team-mate Gareth McAuley as Northern Ireland claimed a crucial 2-0 victory over the Czech Republic in the World Cup qualifier at Windsor Park.

Normally it is West Brom defender McAuley who comes up from defence to score a vital goal at a set-piece, but with 'Big G' injured, his Albion colleague took centre stage by netting the opening goal.

For good measure another man from the Hawthorns, Chris Brunt, added a stunning free-kick before the break.

Little wonder word went round Windsor Park last night that it wasn't just Northern Ireland beating the Czechs; West Brom were too.

For Evans, who delivered another sensational display alongside the evergreen Aaron Hughes in central defence, it was his first international strike since 2009.

"The ball broke to the edge of the box and Ollie Norwood headed it back. I thought the goalkeeper might get something on it but I managed to get to the ball first and head it into the net," explained Evans, the subject of interest from Manchester City, Arsenal and Leicester during the transfer window.

"I thought there may have been a hint of offside but a few of the lads said it was okay and it was great to score.

"It's been a long time since the last one.

"I've not even come close, that's the worrying thing," he said with a smile.

Evans added: "Big G (McAuley) has always been the goalscorer.

"I've let him take the limelight but he wasn't here this time so I had to step up."

The victory secured Northern Ireland second place in Group C and a probable play-off place for the World Cup finals.

Former Manchester United favourite Evans added: "To go 2-0 up against a nation like the Czech Republic surprised me.

"They had a lot of possession but it didn't ever feel like they were going to break us down.

"They didn't really test Michael McGovern that much.

"That's credit to our team and the work-rate of the lads who put in a great shift.

"We had to sprint across the pitch again and again and it takes character to do that for 90 minutes.

"All credit to the lads for what we have achieved."

Asked about a possible play-off, Evans stated: "I don't think anyone would really want to play us at Windsor Park.

"It's always been that way but even more so now."

Belfast Telegraph

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph