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Northern Ireland have to start proving that they are not just nearly men

Steven Beacom


 

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Tough spell: NI boss Ian Baraclough

Tough spell: NI boss Ian Baraclough

Tough spell: NI boss Ian Baraclough

It was the "must-win" game that Northern Ireland almost lost. Thankfully, Bailey Peacock-Farrell was alert enough in injury time to produce a blinding save, otherwise an extremely frustrating night against Bulgaria at Windsor Park would have turned into a truly disheartening one.

Defeat at home to the unadventurous and uninspiring Bulgarians would have left Ian Baraclough and his players feeling like April Fools having dominated the World Cup qualifier like few others in the 21st century.


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