Euro 2020 qualifiers: Estonia 1-2 Northern Ireland

Josh Magennis scored a late winner to ensure Northern Ireland made it three wins from three in their Euro 2020 qualifying campaign.

The hosts led at the break through captain Konstantin Vassiljev’s superb low free-kick.

But after a spell of heavy pressure, NI equalised through Conor Washington.

Josh Magennis then scored the winner three minutes later when he turned home Jamal Jones’s low cross.

Victory means Michael O’Neill’s side have won all three of their Euro 2020 qualifiers to date, having beaten Estonia and Belarus in Belfast in March.

The hosts were the better side in the first half and deservedly led at the break through Vassiljev’s fine free-kick.

Madis Vihmann had a header disallowed in the first half after he was adjudged to have fouled visiting keeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell while Vassiljev rattled the crossbar early in the second half.

But as time went on O’Neill’s side grew into the game and looked more considerably more dangerous after the introduction of Washington, Jones and Magennis in the second half.

It was Washington’s enterprising run and effort that brought about their equaliser. His shot appeared to glance off the chest of Magennis and evade Estonia goalkeeper Sergei Lepmets, meaning the goal was initially awarded to Magennis, though, it was later given to Washington.

Magennis, who scored a late winner to beat Belarus in March, combined with fellow substitute Jones to complete the comeback with a fine deft touch.

Northern Ireland will look to make it four wins from four in Group C when they travel to Barysaw to play Belarus on Tuesday with a formidable double-header against the Netherlands and Germany awaiting them in the autumn.

  • As it happened: Estonia 1-2 Northern Ireland

O’Neill’s substitutes change the game

Despite dominating possession in the opening moments in Tallinn, Northern Ireland were outshone by their hosts, who are ranked 63 places below them, for much of the first half.

Estonia looked sharper, which is perhaps unsurprising given the majority of their players are midway through their club seasons, with the Estonian top flight running between March and November.

Estonia’s goalscorer and captain Vassiljev looked particularly imposing in the middle of the park with Northern Ireland’s midfield three of Steven Davis, Paddy McNair and George Saville struggling to take a hold of the game.

But O’Neill’s side came out in the second half with a renewed vigour to their play, helped in large by the introduction of Washington, who replaced Liam Boyce at half-time.

The recently released Sheffield United forward frequently came short to receive possession and drive at the Estonia defence, where Boyce had been bullied by the powerful pairing of Karol Mets and Vihmann.

And with the introduction of Jones and Magennis, the visitors only grew in confidence as they began to create chances at will.

Saville spurned two chances in quick succession and Jonny Evans headed over from a corner as they pushed for an equaliser.

Jones was particularly impressive as he repeatedly ran at the Estonia defence and he could have made it 3-1 late on with a flashing drive that went just past the post.

But Estonia did miss a golden chance to level late on when Artjom Dmitrijev failed to get a free header on target.

Line-ups

Estonia

Substitutes

Northern Ireland

Substitutes

Match Stats

Live Text

Match ends, Estonia 1, Northern Ireland 2.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Estonia 1, Northern Ireland 2.

Attempt missed. Jordan Jones (Northern Ireland) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left.

Attempt missed. Artjom Dmitrijev (Estonia) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Gert Kams with a cross.

Stuart Dallas (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Dangerous play by Joonas Tamm (Estonia).

Offside, Northern Ireland. Jordan Jones tries a through ball, but Conor Washington is caught offside.

Attempt saved. Jordan Jones (Northern Ireland) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Patrick McNair.

Attempt missed. Conor Washington (Northern Ireland) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Steven Davis.

Substitution

Substitution, Estonia. Gert Kams replaces Taijo Teniste.

Substitution

Substitution, Estonia. Joonas Tamm replaces Mattias Kait.

Offside, Northern Ireland. Stuart Dallas tries a through ball, but Josh Magennis is caught offside.

Attempt missed. Sergei Zenjov (Estonia) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Konstantin Vassiljev following a corner.

Corner, Estonia. Conceded by Bailey Peacock-Farrell.

Attempt saved. Artjom Dmitrijev (Estonia) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Konstantin Vassiljev.

Goal!

Goal! Estonia 1, Northern Ireland 2. Josh Magennis (Northern Ireland) right footed shot from very close range to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Jordan Jones.

Stuart Dallas (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Vlasiy Sinyavskiy (Estonia).

Goal!

Goal! Estonia 1, Northern Ireland 1. Conor Washington (Northern Ireland) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Jamal Lewis.

Attempt missed. Jonny Evans (Northern Ireland) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Patrick McNair with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Northern Ireland. Conceded by Artur Pikk.

Stuart Dallas (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Erik Sorga (Estonia).

Patrick McNair (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Erik Sorga (Estonia).

Substitution

Substitution, Northern Ireland. Josh Magennis replaces George Saville.

Corner, Northern Ireland. Conceded by Artur Pikk.

Corner, Northern Ireland. Conceded by Artur Pikk.

Attempt saved. Vlasiy Sinyavskiy (Estonia) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Konstantin Vassiljev.

Attempt missed. Konstantin Vassiljev (Estonia) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

Hand ball by Gavin Whyte (Northern Ireland).

Booking

Sergei Lepmets (Estonia) is shown the yellow card.

Substitution

Substitution, Northern Ireland. Jordan Jones replaces Michael Smith.

Substitution

Substitution, Estonia. Erik Sorga replaces Rauno Sappinen.

Booking

George Saville (Northern Ireland) is shown the yellow card.

Dangerous play by George Saville (Northern Ireland).

Madis Vihmann (Estonia) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt blocked. Gavin Whyte (Northern Ireland) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Patrick McNair.

Attempt missed. Conor Washington (Northern Ireland) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Steven Davis.

Attempt saved. George Saville (Northern Ireland) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Patrick McNair with a cross.

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