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Five things we learned from Northern Ireland's win over South Korea

It was the beginning of a few international careers, none more exciting than Paul Smyth, who marked his debut with a goal.

But what exactly can we take away from Northern Ireland's 2-1 win over South Korea?

1. In Trevor we trust

Michael O’Neill now knows he can count on Trevor Carson to step in as a number one. One blunder and his international career could have been over as quickly as it started but the Motherwell man made two good saves and his handling was impressive.

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Northern Ireland debutants Trevor Carson and Paul Smyth.

2. By George, he’s good

No Steven Davis so time to panic? Not quite. While Davo’s class will always be missed George Saville demonstrated he can rise to the challenge in midfield. In his first start at Windsor he produced a man-of-the-match performance.

3. The new Healy?

Paul Smyth’s goal, a painful reminder to Linfield fans of what they have been missing this season, suggests the Queens Park Rangers ace is now ready to thrive in the senior set-up. O’Neill will bring him on the summer tour, and if he keeps progressing, this kid could be the new David Healy for Northern Ireland.

Paul Smyth is flying high.

4. Future hope

With Jamal Lewis making his debut, George Saville (left) and Jordan Jones maturing all the time and Paul Smyth scoring a debut goal, it appears Northern Ireland shouldn’t fear the future. There is real promise and potential there and with O’Neill in charge we can be forgiven for daring to dream once again.

5. Dead ball specialists

It feels like a new chapter for Northern Ireland featuring fresh faces and challenges but what hasn’t changed is the importance of the set-piece to Michael O’Neill. The equaliser was a well rehearsed move, expertly executed.

Northern Ireland's Michael O'Neill during the game at Windsor Park.

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