Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland player ratings: Paddy McNair leads the way in friendly win over Czech Republic in Prague

Paddy McNair scored a first-half double for Northern Ireland.
Paddy McNair scored a first-half double for Northern Ireland.

Ratings by Steven Beacom

Northern Ireland pulled off their first away friendly win since 2006 when they beat the Czech Republic 3-2 in Prague.

Paddy McNair scored twice while Jonny Evans netted his fourth Northern Ireland goal how did the players perform?

Here are our player ratings:

Starting XI

Michael McGovern 7: Premier League debut for Norwich recently and enjoyed a rare start these days for NI. Brilliant point blank save early on. Under pressure late on.

Craig Cathcart 7: Understated and underrated, Cathcart does a fabulous job for his country. Was tested in the second period. Like Evans, is so crucial.

Jonny Evans 7: Commanding in defence in the first half and also scored at other end. Like many not as impressive after the break, but still got the job done.

Tom Flanagan 8: Only his second international start but had the comfort blankets of Cathcart and Evans beside him in a back three. Excellent display.

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Czech Republic's Patrik Schick with Northern Ireland's Tom Flanagan

Conor McLaughlin 7: Selected at right wing back and looked comfortable and confident in the first hour. Found it much tougher going after the break.

Paddy McNair 9: Now one of the first names on the team sheet. Two outstanding goals from the midfielder and had a hand in the other. Magnificent from McNair.

Steven Davis 8: On the night he joined David Beckham as the UK’s most-capped midfielder, he controlled it for an hour and brilliantly set up McNair’s second. Class.

Jordan Thompson 7: O’Neill has faith in the Blackpool midfielder and that was rewarded with a fine display before he was taken off. A player with real potential.

Stuart Dallas 7: Has become a Northern Irish version of James Milner. Dallas can play anywhere and shine. Was left wing back. Possibly should have scored.

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Stuart Dallas applauds the Northern Ireland fans.

Liam Boyce 7: Clever touches in the first half and created McNair’s opening goal with an inviting cross. Also close to scoring himself.

Gavin Whyte 8: Played up front and in a superb first half tormented the Czech defence with his pace and energy. Definitely a central option in the future.

Substitutes

Corry Evans (for Davis, 65) 6: Battled hard as he always does in the middle.

George Saville (for Thompson, 65) 6: Made his presence felt as the Czechs pushed on.

Josh Magennis (for Boyce, 71) 6: Won free-kicks and gave home defence problems.

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Josh Magennis was the goal-scoring hero against the Netherlands.

Niall McGinn (for Whyte, 87) 6: Helped play out time in a morale-boosting win.

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