The Press and Journal (Inverness, Highlands, and Islands)

Cap­tain Davis pays penalty

- Sports · Northern Ireland · Ireland · Steven Davis · Netherlands · David Beckham · United Kingdom · Rangers · Jasper Cillessen

North­ern Ire­land cap­tain Steven Davis made no ex­cuses for his missed penalty after Satur­day’s 0-0 draw with Hol­land ended any hopes of au­to­matic qual­i­fi­ca­tion for Euro 2020.

There was no dream send-off for man­ager Michael O’Neill in what stands to be his fi­nal game in charge at Wind­sor Park as Davis sent his 32nd minute spot-kick well over and the match fin­ished goal­less fol­low­ing a poor sec­ond half, though North­ern Ire­land have the con­so­la­tion of a play-off place.

Davis had faced a long wait for take his penalty, with Hol­land ar­gu­ing with ref­eree Szy­mon Marciniak over his de­ci­sion to pe­nalise some­what harshly a hand­ball by Joel Velt­man before goal­keeper Jasper Cil­lessen walked off his line to face Davis before he took it.

O’Neill was left frus­trated by Hol­land’s an­tics but Davis, mak­ing his 116th ap­pear­ance to over­take David Beck­ham as the UK’s most capped mid­fielder, said it made no dif­fer­ence.

The Rangers mid­fielder said: “It’s a huge dis­ap­point­ment be­cause we all wanted that big re­sult and a big scalp to take it into the fi­nal game. Un­for­tu­nately we couldn’t do it.”

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