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Paterson proud of Russia strike

15 August 2013 00:17

Northern Ireland striker Martin Paterson was delighted to seal Wednesday's 1-0 win over Russia, the first of Michael O'Neill's reign.

Despite early Russian pressure, the Huddersfield Town forward grabbed the only goal of the FIFA World Cup qualifying clash, heading home Niall McGinn’s deep cross.

Northern Ireland fought valiantly to keep UEFA Group F's second-placed team out and to give O'Neill his first win since taking over in February 2012.

The victory was Northern Ireland's first in what has been a dismal qualifying campaign, in which they have failed to beat either Luxembourg or Azerbaijan at their Windsor Park home.

Speaking after the game, Paterson said: "It was a great win against a very strong team. Tonight was about the collective group, not just the goalscorer.

"We have tried to compete throughout the campaign and tonight we got the result.

"International football can be difficult, even at home, so we're delighted with the win."

O'Neill's contract is set to run out at the end of this year but his teams' win over Fabio Capello's side will do his chances of securing an extension no harm.

After the match the 44-year-old was clearly happy with what he had seen after some disappointing recent showings at home.

He added: "The quality we had on the ball was excellent. It is a big result for us against a very strong team.

"(We did) nothing different that we haven't done in previous games, but tonight we just had 11 real players on the pitch, 13 for the lads that came on.

"The work-rate of the team and their quality on the ball was excellent.

"I think we had six players on the team who've had less than 10 starts for Northern Ireland, so that gives an indication of where they are in terms of their development. They were fantastic."

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Info

Competition
WC Qualification Europe
Date
14 August 2013
Kick-off
20:45
Half-time
1 - 0
Full-time
1 - 0
Venue
Windsor Park (Belfast)
Attendance
11178

Goals

M. Paterson 43'
(assist by N. McGinn) 
1 - 0

Lineups

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