Belfast Telegraph

How the Northern Ireland players rated during the victory over South Korea

Ratings by Steven Beacom

There's no question who stole the headlines as Paul Smyth came off the bench to bag Northern Ireland's winner on his debut.

But how did all of the individuals fare during the 2-1 victory over South Korea?

Trevor Carson 8

Terrific senior international debut for the in-form Motherwell keeper. Commanding performance. Could do nothing about South Korean goal.

Aaron Hughes 6

Disappointing day for experienced campaigner. Had to come off injured after just 18 minutes, winning cap number 110. Hope it’s not his last.

Gareth McAuley 8

Another outstanding display in a Northern Ireland shirt from the 38-year-old. The WBA defender blocked shot after shot from the South Koreans.

Jonny Evans 7

Captain on Saturday and as cool as you like in central defence. Playing alongside McAuley, there is a great understanding between the clubmates.

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Northern Ireland's Jonny Evans up against South Korea's Minwoo Kim.

Jamal Lewis 7

The Norwich youngster says his first Northern Ireland game was one to treasure. There will be plenty more. Steady start to international career.

Jamie Ward 7

Crossed the ball for Northern Ireland’s equaliser and was lively every time he had the ball. Ward’s energy is always vital in this team.

George Saville 8

Quickly becoming a favourite with the Windsor Park fans. Loves to drive forward from midfield and unlucky not to score against South Korea.

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Northern Ireland's George Saville was MOTM at Windsor Park.

Oliver Norwood 7

Played the perfect pass from a free-kick for Jamie Ward to set up Northern Ireland’s opener. Was determined to make an impact.

Corry Evans 7

Tenacious and industrious, the younger Evans loves putting a shift in from midfield for his country. Improved as game wore on.

Jordan Jones 7

In the first few minutes made a lung-bursting 50 yard run that had the crowd on their feet. A really exciting talent who enjoys the big stage.

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Northern Ireland's Jordan Jones and South Korea's Yong Lee on Saturday.

Josh Magennis 7

You know what you are going to get from Magennis. An endless work ethic that reflects his big personality. Denied a goal by a fine save.


Conor McLaughlin (Hughes, 18 mins) 7: Played most of the match and impressed.

Conor Washington (Ward, 61 mins) 7: Looked lively and helped set up Paul Smyth’s goal.

Liam Boyce (C Evans, 61 mins) 6: Back in the fold after injury, Boyce produced some skilful touches.

Craig Cathcart (J Evans, 67 mins) 6: Made one fine block and looked as capable as ever.

Paddy McNair (Norwood, 61 mins) 6: Delighted to return to Northern Ireland duty. Steady showing.

Paul Smyth (Jones, 82 mins) 8: What a debut. Eight minutes of magic and an unforgettable winning goal.

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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