Martin Paterson's headed goal helped Northern Ireland secure the first win of their World Cup 2014 qualifying campaign by beating Fabio Capello's high-flying Russia.
The diminutive striker combined well with Niall McGinn throughout proceedings but the pair's efforts were rewarded with 43 minutes on the clock when Paterson thumped the ball home.
That was enough to give Northern Ireland fans a first victory to celebrate since August 2011, when they ran out 4-0 winners over minnows Faroe Islands, while it also marked manager Michael O'Neill's first victory in charge.
For Russia, however, it was a huge opportunity missed to return to the top of their group above Portugal.
With Jonny Evans and Kyle Lafferty both absent through injury and illness, and Chris Brunt suspended, Northern Ireland were forced to name goalkeeping coach Maik Taylor among the substitutes just to fill the bench.
Russia boss Fabio Capello, meanwhile, named only 30-year-old Aleksandr Kerzhakov up front as part of a line-up that included six in midfield.
Northern Ireland started brightly, with Aberdeen playmaker McGinn firing in two early sighters on goal in the opening couple of minutes - the second of which looped just past Igor Akinfeev's left-hand post.
However, Russia fought back and at the other end West Brom's Gareth McAuley was forced to snuff out the threat from Alan Dzagoev as he raced in on goal with a well-timed challenge.
The hosts’ early attacking pressure in the opening quarter soon subsided, and eventually Russia's quality began to tell as they got a real foothold in the game.
Russian winger Vladimir Bystrov linked well down the right with Dzagoev, causing young left-back Shane Ferguson problems.
Then, in the 34th minute, the impressive Dzagoev created space for striker Kerzakhov, but the Zenit St Petersburg man took too long to get his shot away and McAuley cleared up.
As half-time neared, the hosts certainly did not seem to be missing defender Chris Baird at the back - the 31-year-old having been overlooked for the squad as he is currently without a club.
And despite Russia's attacking intent, it was Northern Ireland who finished the half ahead.
Derby County's Jamie Ward had already gone close when he sent a dipping 25-yard shot onto the post after being sent through by a quick free kick from skipper Steve Davis.
And two minutes before the break Windsor Park was jumping.
McGinn was the architect when he whipped in cross from deep and Huddersfield Town striker Paterson leapt well above his man to head strongly into the corner - a remarkable feat considering that the 26-year-old was one of the smallest players on the pitch.
For the second period, Capello rung the changes as he tried to get Russia back into the contest.
The Italian brought on Artem Dzyuba and Denis Cheryshev, although the latter was forced off with an injury after just six minutes.
But Northern Ireland still probed for a second goal, and they nearly managed it close to the hour mark only to be denied by the assistant referee’s flag.
Again it was Paterson with his head who found the net via a McAuley knockdown, but the forward was adjudged to be just offside. TV replays proved the call to be correct and showed that the striker had strayed fractionally off.
The aerial threat again posed Russia problems 15 minutes later when Ferguson pushed down the left flank, lifting another high ball into the box, and this time Akinfeev flapped at the delivery. The ensuing scramble for the loose ball saw Paterson and Russia defender Vasiliy Berezutskiy booked.
The tenacity shown by Paterson was typical of the hosts, as they fought for everything going into the final 10 minutes. They were rarely tested in the closing stages as Windsor Park erupted at the final whistle.
|M. Paterson||43' 74'|
|Coach: M. O'Neill|
for N. McGinn 82'
for M. Paterson 86'
|Copa del Rey Wrap: Valencia scrape through, Bilbao thrash Celta|
|Primeira Liga: Maritimo 2 Braga 2|
|Galliani to stay at Milan|
|Klopp plays down Club World Cup|
|Schalke coach Keller not fearing the sack|
|Wilshere loses appeal against two-match ban|
|Zaha on Pardew´s radar|
|Milan will be my final club, says Abbiati|
|Anigo to remain at Marseille helm for time being|
|Premier League Preview: West Brom v Hull City|
|No Bankia involvement in Bale deal, says Perez|
|Galliani wants stronger Milan youth system|
|Rafinha extends Bayern contract|
|Premier League Preview: Stoke City v Aston Villa|
|Poyet: No excuse not to perform|
|Vanishing spray to be used at World Cup|
|Gabbidon praises Palace strike pair|
|Premier League Preview: Manchester United v West Ham|
|Hughton calls for Norwich City to show character|
|Premier League Preview: Fulham v Manchester City|
|Samaras attracting Lazio interest|
|Premier League Preview: Liverpool v Cardiff City|
|Rodgers backs Mackay at Cardiff|
|Foster back fit and raring for West Brom recall|
|De Boer agent denies Tottenham contact|
|Premier League Preview: Crystal Palace v Newcastle United|
|Hungary appoint Pinter as new coach|
|Iniesta signs new Barca contract|
|Rodgers coy over Suarez talks|
|Jagielka hopes for fresh faces at Everton to help top-four push|
|A-League: Central Coast 1 Wellington 0|
|Spain end top of FIFA rankings for sixth year running|
|Allardyce disappointed to draw Manchester City|
|Pascoe hails ´unbelievable´ Suarez|
|Vorm knee surgery brought forward|
|Blanc hails Cavani brace|
|Michu wants Aspas to join Swansea City|
|Hoeness plays down Bayern treble suggestions|
|Dzeko confident he can fill Aguero void|
|Moyes: No loan offers for Zaha|
|Kiessling calls for Leverkusen response|
|Matuidi: Cavani on par with Ibrahimovic|
|Yeboah set to join Borussia Monchengladbach|
|Rooney a ´chance´ to face West Ham|
|FIFA Club World Cup Preview: Bayern Munich v Raja Casablanca|
|Benzarti praises ´extremely talented´ Raja Casablanca|
|Ranieri unsure over Falcao return|
|Coupe de La Ligue Wrap: Cavani leads PSG to dramatic win|
|Copa del Rey Wrap: Real Madrid through as Sevilla crash out|
|Tottenham job appeals to Sherwood|
|Sherwood gutted after defeat|
|Hughes: United worthy winners|
|Moyes pleased to see United weather storm|
|Allardyce hails West Ham fight|
|Coppa Italia: Juventus 3 Avellino 0|
|Manchester clubs kept apart in League Cup semi draw|
|League Cup: Tottenham 1 West Ham 2|
|League Cup: Stoke City 0 Manchester United 2|
|FIFA Club World Cup: Raja Casablanca 3 Atletico Mineiro 1|
|Sheffield Wednesday, Wigan abandoned due to heavy rain|
|United face anxious Rooney wait over injury|
|Messi making good progress|
|Ramos ban overturned|
|Osvaldo charged by FA|
|In-demand Ince offered new Blackpool deal|
|Molde confirm Solskjaer approaches|
|Kramer keen to continue home record|
|Rodgers: Henderson has potential to get even better|
|Ruiz on Anderlecht´s radar|
|Swansea, Hull fined by FA over player behaviour|
|Leeds keen on re-signing Gradel|
|Leverkusen announce Ryu deal|
|Ribery named Bundesliga Player of the Year|
|Moyes: No Zaha interest|
|Barcelona, Real Madrid in European Commission investigation|
|Basel: No Tottenham approach for Yakin|
|Chelsea set for Guarin bid, agent claims|
|Lewandowski has Dortmund goal concerns|
|Pogba, Pirlo will not sign before Christmas, says Marotta|
|Guardiola convinced to join Bayern after ´meat´ and greet|
|Martinez: Everton seen as a ´perfect´ loan destination|
|Anderlecht ´perfect´ for Defour, says Van Holsbeeck|
|Watford appoint Sannino|
|Sakho feels ´lucky´ to play with Suarez|
|Lippi: Too many teams competing in Club World Cup|
|Moyes ´told Welbeck to learn from Rooney´|
|I would kill myself over match-fixing, says Gattuso|
|Hughes dismisses calls for Januzaj protection|
|Aguero ´could miss up to two months´|
|Guardiola lauds Ballon d´Or nominee Ribery|
|Liverpool open Suarez contract talks|
|Copa del Rey Wrap: Barcelona, Levante cruise through|
|A-League Preview: Derby date beckons for winless Heart|
|Pearson upbeat despite Leicester defeat|
|Poyet urges Sunderland to build on Chelsea win|
|Mourinho rues missed chances|