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banner Wednesday, 13 February, 2002, 20:47 GMT
Poles outclass Northern Ireland
Sammy McIlroy introduced Neil Lennon at half-time
Sammy McIlroy saw his team concede two early goals
Northern Ireland 1-4 Poland

Northern Ireland found World Cup qualifiers Poland far too good in this friendly international played before 221 spectators in Cyprus.

Sammy McIlroy's side had a dreadful start with the Poles going 2-0 up inside the opening 11 minutes.

Steve Lomas, back in the Irish team after 16 months out because of injury, quickly replied for Northern Ireland with his first international goal in four years.

After Stuart Elliott had missed a glorious chance to equalise for the Irish in the 62nd minute, Poland then quickly made the Irish pay with two goals in as many minutes.

Pawel Kryszalowicz and Radoslaw Lauzny scored inside the first 11 minutes to put Poland two goals up.

Kryszalowicz got inside Aaron Hughes from Tomasz Iwan's pass before lashing the ball home from the edge of the area.

Lomas scored his first international goal in four years
Lomas headed NI's first half goal

The Pole's left-foot shot went in off the post.

The Irish defence was looking rattled and Radoslaw Kaluzny could have immediately added a second but he fired straight into Maik Taylor's arms.

That proved just a temporary reprieve for McIlroy's men, and in the 11th minute Kaluzny made amends by putting his side 2-0 up.

He latched on to Marek Kozminski's chipped pass and deftly planted the ball beyond Taylor and into the Northern Ireland goal.

However the Irish regrouped and Philip Mulryne saw a good effort deflected wide.

From the resultant corner in the 18th minute Northern Ireland pulled a goal back with Lomas nodding home Keith Gillespie's cross.

Gillespie then attacked down the right for the first time and sent over a dangerous cross from the byline which Radoslaw Majdan saved at the feet of Healy.

Poland went close to a third goal from a counter-attack before the interval.

Neil Lennon was introduced for Philip Mulryne at half-time
Lennon had missed NI's four previous games

Olisadebe was sent scurrying through on the left after a Northern Ireland corner broke down and Taylor parried his shot for a corner.

Both sides made a raft of substitutions at half-time with Northern Ireland bringing on Neil Lennon for Mulryne and George McCartney for Griffin.

Elliott missed a glorious chance to equalise for Northern Ireland in the 62nd minute after a great cross from Michael Hughes.

The Motherwell man had plenty of time to pick his spot but his effort was blocked by the Polish defence.

Pawel Kryszalowicz made Northern Ireland pay for the miss by hitting his second goal of the night five minutes later.

Taylor saved substitute Marcin Zewlakow's initial effort but Kryszalowicz squeezed in the rebound from a tight angle.

Poland added a fourth goal two minutes later with Zewlakow steering a shot past a helpless Taylor.

Cheltenham's Michael Duff was introduced for his first Northern Ireland cap nine minutes from time.

Poland: Majdan, Krzynowek, Jacek Bak, Michal Zewlakow, Waldoch, Kozminski, Swierczewski, Iwan, Kryszalowicz, Kaluzny, Olisadebe. Subs: Bledzewski, Marcin Zewlakow, Zielinski, Rzasa, Zdebel, Arkadiusz Bak, Smolarek.

Northern Ireland: Taylor, Kennedy, Griffin, Aaron Hughes, Lomas, Johnson, Mulryne, Magilton, Gillespie, Michael Hughes, Healy. Subs: Ingham, Duff, Lennon, Elliott, McCartney, McVeigh, McCann.

Referee: Tasos Papaioannou (Cyprus)

Northern Ireland boss Sammy McIlroy
"Russia are a good side"
See also:

13 Feb 02 |  World Cup 2002
McIlroy rues Elliott miss
13 Feb 02 |  World Cup 2002
International clockwatch
13 Feb 02 |  World Cup 2002
Opening burst enough for Irish
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