Paterson and Norwood play in World Cup Qualifier
Huddersfield Town’s Martin Paterson was the match-winner on Wednesday evening as Northern Ireland pulled off a shock 1-0 home win over Russia in a World Cup Qualifier.
‘Pato’ played alongside Town teammate Oliver Norwood as the ‘Green and White Army’ won their first game of the qualifying campaign – and gave manager Michael O’Neill his first win in the process.
Northern Ireland, who had won only two games in the last four and a half years before the game, looked up against it when star defender Jonny Evans pulled out through illness earlier in the day, but fully deserved their win against Fabio Capello’s Russia.
The match, which had been rescheduled after two earlier dates in March were ruled out by snow in Belfast, was settled by Pato’s 43rd minute goal. Aberdeen’s Niall McGinn did excellently to get the cross in down the right, but Martin did just as well to jump above his marker early and divert his header inside the far post.
Paterson played as a lone striker on the evening and had the ball in the net once again just before the hour mark, but his close range header was ruled out by a tight offside call.
Town’s summer signing was booked in the 74th minute before receiving a standing ovation upon being substituted with four minutes of normal time remaining. Martin was also awarded 'Man of the Match' after the full-time whistle.
He now has two goals in 15 caps for his country; his previous strike coming from the penalty spot in a friendly against Finland.
Meanwhile teammate Norwood played the full 90 minutes in the terrific win, excelling in a deep central midfield role. In his 10th senior cap, Norwood helped to prevent the Russians from registering a single shot on target.
Both players will now return to England in time for Town’s Championship game at Millwall on Saturday.
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