Belfast Telegraph

Play-off success will see O'Neill's men gear up for Dublin battles

 

Euro mission: Michael O’Neill hopes to see Dublin action
Euro mission: Michael O’Neill hopes to see Dublin action

By Graham Luney

Northern Ireland will play two Euro 2020 matches in Dublin next year - if they can qualify for the Finals.

Uefa confirmed yesterday whichever of the four teams wins Path B of the play-offs, Mick McCarthy's Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, Bosnia or Slovakia will now play two matches at the Aviva Stadium next June.

Each country's third group game will be against Spain in Bilbao.

The European governing body announced a few other regulations in advance of Saturday's draw in Bucharest, the main one being that Ukraine and Russia will not be allowed share a group because other current unrest between the countries.

Georgia, if they come through their play-off, will also be kept away from Russia, with whom they have a disputed border.

Meanwhile, Northern Ireland women's boss Kenny Shiels is being linked with the Falkirk manager's job.

Former Kilmarnock chief Shiels could be a contender following Ray McKinnon's departure.

Shiels said: "Falkirk is a very good club. They're in a position they deserve to be well above, I see them as a Premiership club.

"At this moment in time I'm working with the Northern Ireland international team and it would be unfair of me to make any commitment that way at this moment."

Northern Ireland boss Michael O'Neill's Stoke City survival mission in the Championship continued last night with a 1-0 defeat at Cardiff City.

Neil Harris tasted victory in his first home match in charge as Gary Madine's deft back-heel set up Leandro Bacuna to fire in the winner.

Stoke had ample possession but offered little attacking threat and it's a first defeat under new boss O'Neill.

City gave their blessing for O'Neill to continue as Northern Ireland manager for the Euro 2020 play-offs in March but he is not expected to remain in charge for the finals should the men in green get that far.

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph