Belfast Telegraph

Hero Healy tells the country we can still do it

By Steven Beacom

Northern Ireland legend David Healy last night told the nation to keep believing that the Euro 2008 dream will become a reality.

The iconic Healy scored a magnificent goal to earn Northern Ireland a superb 2-1 victory over Denmark at Windsor Park on Saturday night and maintain our hopes of reaching next year's finals in Austria and Switzerland.

Healy's beauty came after the excellent Warren Feeney had equalised an earlier effort from Nicklas Bendtner and sets up a dramatic climax to Group F.

Basically what needs to happen now is that Northern Ireland must WIN against Spain in Gran Canaria on Wednesday night and Sweden must LOSE at home to Latvia.

Spain have already qualified for the finals, after beating Sweden 3-0 at the weekend. The pressure is most definitely on the Swedes, who a couple of months ago were odds on to qualify but have only taken one point from their last two games.

In contrast, Northern Ireland will enter the clash with Spain on a high after the stunning success against the Danes.

And remember Healy scored a breathtaking hat-trick in a 3-2 win over the Spanish last year, so anything is possible.

"Ahead of the Denmark match our aim was to give ourselves a chance going into the final game and that's what we have done," said the Fulham striker.

"It was another glorious night at Windsor Park when everyone, including our wonderful fans, played their part.

"I know 4,000 of them will be in Spain cheering us on and hopefully they and everyone back home will enjoy another great evening.

"We are still up against it and getting a result against Spain will be extremely difficult, but we have to keep believing that we can do it and you never know, Latvia might just do us a favour against Sweden. First and foremost, though, we must do the business against Spain. The way this campaign has gone I wouldn't rule anything out."

Healy's goal on Saturday night was his 13th of the Euro qualifying campaign - breaking the record previously held by Croatian striker Davor Suker.

"The record didn't matter to me. All that mattered was the result and we got it," added Healy.

"In years to come maybe it is something I can reflect on and it is great to have achieved it, but now it is all about getting a win in Spain and again it won't matter who scores as long as we get the three points."

Belfast Telegraph


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