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.
|9||M. Paterson||43' 74'|
|Coach: M. O'Neill|
for N. McGinn 82'
for M. Paterson 86'
|Sergi Roberto set to miss Barcelona´s Sociedad clash|
|Mason urges Kane to stay at Tottenham|
|Van Gaal: Nasty Vardy reminds me of Bergkamp|
|Hughes warns in-form Stoke are yet to click|
|Van Gaal ´not worried´ by Manchester United form|
|Jovetic credits hunger for Inter´s surprise Serie A lead|
|Bravo won´t leave Barcelona - Braida|
|Costa can match Messi and Ronaldo says ex-Gremio president|
|Caballero eyes redemption as City wait on Hart|
|Ryan: Valencia can challenge for trophies this season|
|Ranieri backs Martial to find form|
|Mane not leaving Southampton - Koeman|
|Valencia goalkeeper Ryan thankful to former coach Arnold|
|Wenger lauds remarkable ´lion´ Sanchez|
|Top spot not crucial for Klopp|
|Hamsik surprised by Napoli´s season|
|Allardyce open to Defoe sale|
|Breitenreiter pleased with Schalke character|
|Griffiths: Blame me for Celtic´s Europa League exit|
|Pochettino happy with Chelsea links to Kane|
|Europa League Review: Liverpool advance, Celtic crash out|
|We´re too easy to play against, laments Villa captain Richards|
|AC Milan v Sampdoria: Mihajlovic the focus ahead of San Siro clash|
|Ferdinand: Ferguson only wanted players with animal instinct at United|
|Klopp frustrated by Mignolet decision|
|Pochettino hails ´mature´ Spurs display|
|Celtic 1 Ajax 2: Late winner keeps De Boer´s men alive|
|Pioli eyes improvement after Lazio qualify for last 32|
|Liverpool 2 Bordeaux 1: Milner and Benteke ensure Europa League progression|
|Dortmund dominant in Krasnodar defeat, claims Tuchel|
|Atletico Madrid v Espanyol: Lopez looking for perfection on the road|
|CBF chief Marco Polo del Nero steps down from FIFA role|
|Qarabag 0 Tottenham 1: Kane header seals Europa League progression|
|Sturridge set for scan on foot injury|
|Barcelona v Real Sociedad: Rakitic puts winning run down to team spirit|
|Paris Saint-Germain v Troyes: Top against bottom in Ligue 1|
|United striker Wilson joins Brighton on loan|
|Mihajlovic abandoned me but Montella is the best, says Ferrero|
|Bayern Munich v Hertha Berlin: Dardai out to stop Guardiola´s juggernaut|
|FC Krasnodar 1 Borussia Dortmund 0: Russians progress thanks to early penalty|
|Rode not planning Bayern exit|
|Koeman hopes ´dangerous´ Long can fill Pelle void|
|Aston Villa v Watford: Garde calls for support to end barren run|
|Crystal Palace v Newcastle United: Pardew dreaming of European football|
|Manchester City v Southampton: Koeman feels Pellegrini´s men can cope with criticism|
|La Liga president Tebas: Clasico was hard to watch|
|Sunderland v Stoke City: Allardyce calls for ´fight and grit´ after Palace success|
|Figures reveal further drop in football banning orders|
|AFC Bournemouth v Everton: Martinez cautions against complacency|
|Hughes urges Shawcross to forget England hopes|
|Leicester City v Manchester United: Top-of-the-table clash intrigues Ranieri|
|Rodriguez out for up to eight weeks|
|Ranieri: It will be hard to break down United´s defence|
|Allardyce hopeful on Defoe fitness|
|Ribery eyes Bayern return|
|Hamann tips Firmino to become a Liverpool star|
|Baines closing in on comeback - Martinez|
|Away fans in France banned from matches until mid-December|
|Azpilicueta: Chelsea on right track again|
|Rummenigge confident Bayern will not lose any key players|
|Deulofeu showing world-class talent, says Martinez|
|Sydney FC 0 Wellington Phoenix 0: Bore draw as hosts miss chance to go top|
|´Not of the professional standard´ - Garde drops Grealish|
|Real Madrid lead the way in World XI nominees|
|Ozil was a bargain at £40m - Wenger|
|FIFA donates returned CBF watches to charity|
|Sanchez could play against Norwich despite hamstring problem|
|Mourinho hopes to see Arsenal suffer Champions League elimination|
|Isco urges Madrid to learn from mistakes|
|Drogba claims Chelsea are lacking leaders|
|Juventus can hold their own against anyone - Buffon|
|Alleged match-fixer released from Singaporean jail|
|Le Tissier backs Ronaldo to play on like Giggs|
|Keane: Rooney looks awful and must do more|
|Rummenigge: Bayern relaxed over Guardiola future|
|Premier League Truce Tournament cancelled over Belgium safety concerns|
|Blanc: Ibrahimovic´s Malmo return was a distraction|
|Astana coach Stoilov delighted with Benfica draw|
|Shakhtar have ´mentality problems´ - bemoans coach Lucescu|
|Lovren vows to become Liverpool leader|
|Mason wants to cement England spot|
|Van Nistelrooy misses rivalry with ´obsessed´ Arsenal|
|Emery disappointed by Champions League campaign|
|Schubert eyeing Europa League spot|
|Cocu revels in PSV´s position after Old Trafford draw|
|Pellegrini questions Mandzukic winner|
|I lived a dream – Ibrahimovic|
|Allegri delighted after Juve seal progression|
|Benitez happy with response to Barcelona thrashing|
|Marchisio satisfied by battling win over City|
|Hareide quiet on Malmo future after heavy PSG defeat|
|Van Gaal aware of Wolfsburg challenge|
|Griezmann focused on winning Group C after Gala win|
|Real Madrid relaxed too much, admits Carvajal|
|Toure laments missed chances as Juve sink City|
|Europa League is Gala´s new goal - Muslera|
|Rooney bullish on Champions League chances|
|Borussia Monchengladbach 4 Sevilla 2: Stindl double sends Liga side out|
|Malmo 0 Paris Saint-Germain 5: Ibrahimovic on target as Blanc´s side cruise through|
|Shakhtar Donetsk 3 Real Madrid 4: Ronaldo wins the group despite late comeback|
|Manchester United 0 PSV 0: Stalemate leaves Van Gaal´s men facing tricky final game|
|Juventus 1 Manchester City 0: Mandzukic seals qualification as Juve leapfrog City|
|Atletico Madrid 2 Galatasaray 0: Griezmann double sends Simeone´s men through|
|Slutsky reflects on "humiliating" defeat|
|´We worked hard for that´ - Schafer revels in Wolfsburg win|
|Dier wary of Qarabag threat|
|Celtic captain Brown out for up to three months with knee injury|
|Supporters´ absence will be tough in Belgium - Sarri|
|Watzke dismisses talk of Hummels rift|
|Teams in Europe need Premier League fixture help - Pochettino|
|CSKA Moscow 0 Wolfsburg 2: Schurrle eliminates Slutsky´s side|
|Serie A not priority for Fiorentina - Sousa|
|Ibrahimovic still cool on Guardiola as he ponders future|
|Tuchel demands Dortmund response|
|Jimenez relieved to end goal drought as Benfica snatch draw|
|Fleetwood´s Ball has Messi and Tevez in his sights|
|Isco handed two-match ban after Clasico dismissal|
|Astana 2 Benfica 2: Jimenez double seals comeback|
|Valdes ´fighting to be free´ from Manchester United|
|Lovren: It´s a great pleasure to play under Klopp|
|Sturridge set for Liverpool comeback|
|Drogba backs Cech to lead Arsenal to title|
|Mourinho explains Hazard substitution against Maccabi|
|Klopp insists Liverpool have no Anfield problem|
|Neuer has taken the game to ´a new level´ - Kahn|
|Klopp is ready to replace Mignolet, claims Grobbelaar|
|Barcelona confirm Sergi Roberto ankle injury|
|Australia, Postecoglou nominated for AFC awards|
|Dortmund rest Reus and Aubameyang for Krasnodar clash|
|Dynamo Kiev receive UEFA fine, stadium closure|
|Boyd against USA match proposal|
|Javi Martinez wants Bayern renewal|
|Barcelona certain Neymar will renew contract|
|Sanchez impossible to defend against - Koscielny|
|Aguero can be Manchester City´s Messi, says Buffon|
|There is something wrong between Lewandowski and Robben, claims Matthaus|
|Bayern on track for Champions League glory - Muller|
|Lovren hails ´unbelievable´ Firmino|
|Cech: Arsenal have everything in own hands|
|Van Nistelrooy believes Depay not ready to make the difference at Manchester United|
|´I like to spend money´ - Wenger|
|´It was beautiful to watch´ - Szczesny after Roma´s 6-1 loss to Barca|
|Simeone: Atletico won´t settle for draw|
|City must believe they can win Champions League - Hart|
|Gerrard confirms Liverpool training return|
|Rooney told to make China move by Eriksson|
|Vanhaezebrouck: Overachieving Gent deserve to advance|
|Barca an ´unbeatable machine´ - Garcia|
|Jokanovic proud of Maccabi progress|
|Luis Enrique wants more after Barcelona hit Roma for six|
|Sevilla in talks to keep hold of Banega|
|Guardiola ´satisfied´ after Bayen brush aside Olympiacos|
|We are thinking about Arsenal now, admits Silva|
|Mourinho plays down Costa row|
|Messi: It feels good to be back for Barcelona|