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Sammy McIlroy
"We defended with our lives"
 real 14k

BBC Northern Ireland's Jackie Fullerton
reports from Iceland
 real 14k

Wednesday, 11 October, 2000, 22:14 GMT 23:14 UK
Injury-time agony for Northern Ireland
Roy Carroll
NI keeper Roy Carroll's late mistake proved costly
Iceland 1-0 Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland's World Cup qualifying hopes took a cruel blow when they lost to an injury-time goal by Thordur Godjonssen.

A bad mistake by keeper Roy Carroll led to Gudjohnssen being gifted an open goal.

The defeat was Northern Ireland's first of their World Cup qualifying campaign and leaves them third in Group Three with four points.

It was a heartbreaking moment for Carroll who had helped keep Northern Ireland level as Iceland dominated the second half.

Northern Ireland did not get a shot on goal after half-time. But they looked as if they would remain unbeaten in Group Three - until that disastrous moment with the game just into time added on.

Sammy McIlroy
NI boss Sammy McIlroy suffered disappointment

Carroll came out for Eidur Gudjohnsen's free-kick only for Heidar Helguson to head it over the Irish goalkeeper and Gudjonsson nodded the ball into the empty net from just yards out.

The defeat was a sickening blow for Sammy McIlroy's side after they thought they had survived the Icelandic pressure.

Iceland began determined to gain their first points after losing their opening two qualifiers against Denmark and the Czech Republic and they had all the early chances.

Best chance

But Northern Ireland had the best chance of the first half when Jim Magilton flighted a free-kick into the area.

The ball fell to Gerry Taggart who controlled it before stabbing it wide with his weaker right foot from just five yards out.

But it was a rare opening for Northern Ireland who were on the back foot for most of the game.

Mark Williams replaced Taggart at half-time and as most of the crowd were settling into their seats after the interval, Iceland almost took the lead.

Gudjohnsen slipped the ball across to Gudjonsson on the right and the Las Palmas striker blazed over the bar when he should have hit the target.

The Irish defence was rocking and Gudjohnsen shot across goal with his right foot from Dadason's flick-on.

Steve Lomas
Steve Lomas misses Czech Republic match
Iceland sensed a breakthrough and Williams turned a dangerous cross behind for a corner.

Steve Lomas was happy to do the same when he knocked behind Gudjonsson's ball, which was intended for Eyjolfur Sverrisson.

Lomas was booked in the match and misses the next game against the Czech Republic in March.

Carroll saved McIlroy's men again when he came out to block a shot from Dadason before he dived on the rebound.

Iceland continued to make all the running and Carroll pushed Gunnarsson's shot away for a corner.

Then with the seconds running out, Carroll misjudged Gudjohnsen's free-kick and Iceland scored to the delight of their home fans and the despair of the travelling band of Irish supporters.

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