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Friday, 14 February, 2003, 00:04 GMT
Hyypia gets Finland winner
Finland's Sami Hyypia moves to to tackle Northern Ireland striker David Healy at Windsor Park
David Healy is challenged by goalscorer Sami Hyypia
Northern Ireland 0-1 Finland

Sami Hyypia celebrated his 50th international cap by scoring the goal which gave Finland victory in fog-bound Belfast.

The Liverpool skipper, who scored his first international goal against Northern Ireland in 1999, pounced for a close-range winner in the 50th minute.

It was a disappointing night for Northern Ireland, who have now gone six games without scoring.

Their last goal was scored by Steve Lomas in the 4-1 friendly defeat against Poland a year ago.

We just need that goal to get us going

NI boss Sammy McIlroy

And it was Lomas who came close to ending the Northern Ireland goal drought in the 41st minute of Wednesday's friendly in Belfast.

The West Ham man peeled away from his marker to get on the end of Keith Gillespie's free-kick, only to see his header come back off the post.

Hyypia's goal came from a corner taken by Joonas Kolkka.

Shefki Kuqi, who had come off the bench at half-time, powered in a header which substitute keeper Roy Carroll could only parry, leaving Hyypia to hook in from a couple of yards.

To cap Northern Ireland's night of frustration, Stuart Elliott, just on as a sub, hit a post with a late header, again from a Gillespie free-kick.


Northern Ireland : Taylor (Carroll 45), Hughes, Kennedy, Williams, McCartney (Craigan 66), Lomas, Gillespie, Johnson, Healy, Quinn (Kirk 59), McVeigh (Elliott 77).
Subs Not Used: Duff, McCann, Jones.

Finland: Jaaskelainen, Hietanen, Kuivasto, Hyypia (Heikkinen 69), Tihinen, Riihilahti, Nurmela, Valakari, Forssell (Kuqi 45), Vayrynen (Johansson 60), Kolkka (Kopteff 76).
Subs Not Used: Niemi, Pasanen.

Booked: Hietanen.

Attendance: 6,137

Referee: D McDonald (Scotland).

All the international action

Wednesday's games
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