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Euro 2020 qualifiers: Late Magennis goal gives NI 2-1 win over Belarus

Denis Laptev and Stuart Dallas battle for possession during the first half in Belfast

A late goal from substitute Josh Magennis gave a dominant Northern Ireland a vital 2-1 Euro 2020 qualifier victory over Belarus in Belfast.

A low cross from Paddy McNair was finished from close range by the Bolton striker to secure a deserved win.

Leicester City defender Jonny Evans headed NI into the lead on the half hour but Igor Stasevich equalised with a deflected shot three minutes later.

The victory sees NI top Group C with two wins from their first two games.

Germany beat the Netherlands 3-2 in Sunday evening's other game, leaving both the big European superpowers on three points in the group.

In a hugely exciting climax to the match, Northern Ireland goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell made a fantastic save at the back post in the dying seconds to preserve the home side's 100% start to their Euro qualifying campaign.

Having beaten Estonia 2-0 on Thursday, it had looked like Michael O'Neill's side were going to be held to a draw by a dogged Belarus, but the relief and joy in the Windsor Park crowd, which had been hugely vocal throughout, was palpable at the final whistle.

The south Belfast stadium was back to its bouncing best, with the fans realising how important it was for Northern Ireland to claim maximum points from their opening two games, with Germany and the Netherlands awaiting in Group C in the autumn.

More to follow.

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