Belfast Telegraph

Northern Ireland's World Cup play-off place secured despite defeat in Norway

By Gareth Hanna

Northern Ireland's place in the World Cup play-offs has been confirmed, despite a 1-0 defeat in Norway.

Michael O'Neill's men lost their final group game thanks to a second half own goal from Chris Brunt - although neither he nor goalkeeper Michael McGovern covered themselves in glory in what was a rare defensive mishap.

Nonetheless, NI will go forward to November's play-off games. Their fate had been secured before kick-off in Norway as Slovenia earned a 2-2 draw with Scotland.

That meant that Slovakia finish second in Group F but with only 12 adjusted points, leaving them in danger of being the one group runner-up to miss out in the play-offs.

With Northern Ireland a point ahead of them in the play-off race, NI's place is secure. The draw for the play-offs with take place on Tuesday October 17.

Here's Northern Ireland's defeat to Norway as it happened:

Belfast Telegraph Digital


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