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Friday, 15 November, 2002, 13:15 GMT
Northern Ireland to play Finland
Sammy McIlroy salutes the NI fans after the 0-0 draw against Ukraine back in October
McIlroy wanted warm-up game before Euro qualifier
Nothern Ireland are to play Finland in a friendly international at Windsor Park on Wednesday, 12 February (2000 GMT).

Manager Sammy McIlroy was keen to fit a game in what is a free week in a busy calendar, and the Finnish authorities have agreed to a trip to Belfast.

There will also be an under-21 international on the Tuesday evening at a venue yet to be arranged.

McIlroy had originally hoped to arrange a game with a resurgent Wales, but that never materialised.

Lean spell

Northern Ireland's last game was back in October when they held Ukraine to a scoreless draw in the Euro 2004 qualifying game at Windsor Park.

McIlroy's side is at present going through a lean goal-scoring spell having failed to find the target in their last five games.

They have only recorded two victories in their last 15 games in Belfast.

Northern Ireland, however, defeated Finland back in 1998 in a Euro 2000 qualifier at Windsor Park when Keith Rowland scored the only goal of the game.

However, Finland exacted revenge the following year when they won 4-1 in Helsinki.

Finland are at present ranked 43rd in the world, while Northern Ireland are 98th.

See also:

17 Oct 02 | Northern Ireland
16 Oct 02 | Northern Ireland
16 Oct 02 | Northern Ireland
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