Belfast Telegraph

Magennis: I'd love battle with Republic

Josh Magennis
Josh Magennis

By Paul Ferguson

Excited striker Josh Magennis says the prospect of Northern Ireland battling the Republic of Ireland for the right to go to the Euro 2020 finals would be the perfect way to qualify.

Northern Ireland must overcome Bosnia and Herzegovina in their away play-off semi-final on March 26, while Mick McCarthy's men need to defeat Slovakia in Trnava for the two sides to clash in an all-island decider.

At a Uefa meeting in Nyon today, the four teams will find out the venue for the final, should they win their respective semi-finals, and Windsor Park is a possibility.

Northern Ireland drew 0-0 with the Republic in last year's Aviva Stadium friendly, but the two sides haven't met in a competitive fixture since the Euro 1996 qualifier at the old Lansdowne Road in March 1995, when the game finished 1-1.

"It could be a fairytale," admits Magennis. "North v South, a one-time shootout, and the winner goes to the Euros.

"We all want to get to the Euros. We've sampled it before and we all want more. We will fight tooth and nail for it.

"We've watched games recently and saw players celebrating on the pitch after qualifying, and to have that euphoric feeling that we had against Greece again (2015) is something we all really want."

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