North­ern Ire­land stay on track

New Straits Times - - Sport -

BELFAST: Jamie Ward took just 90 sec­onds to score and set North­ern Ire­land on their way to a 2-0 home win over Nor­way in their World Cup qual­i­fier at Wind­sor Park on Sun­day to keep the Ir­ish in con­tention for Rus­sia next year.

Conor Wash­ing­ton scored the other goal in the 33rd minute as North­ern Ire­land moved on to 10 points in Group C, sec­ond and five points be­hind Ger­many and two ahead of the Czech Repub­lic, who both won ear­lier on Sun­day.

Ward curled in a shot from close range for a per­fect start and Wash­ing­ton beat the off­side trap to dou­ble the score not long af­ter Alexan­der Soder­lund had rat­tled the cross­bar for the Nor­we­gians, who have now lost four of their open­ing five qual­i­fiers.

It was a dis­ap­point­ing de­but for new Nor­way coach Lars Lager­back, who took Ice­land through a fairy­tale per­for­mance at last year’s Euro­pean Cham­pi­onship in France. Reuters

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