Northern Ireland 3-0 Belarus: Lafferty scores on 50th appearance to set up comfortable win

Goals from Lafferty, Washington and Grigg gave Northern Ireland a perfect send off at Windsor Park before the Euros

Northern Ireland 3-0 Belarus: Lafferty scores on 50th appearance to set up comfortable win
Lafferty scored on his 50th appearance for Northern Ireland (Picture source: Getty Images)
Northern Ireland
3 0
Belarus
Northern Ireland: Carroll, Mclaughlin, Baird, Evans, Cathcart, Dallas, McNair, Davis, Evans, Lafferty, Washington
Belarus: Harbunov, Shytau, Martynovich, Filipenko, Valadzko, Korzun, Krivets, Kisliak, Hardzeichuk, Stasevich, Yanush
SCORE: 1-0, min. 6, Lafferty. 2-0, min. 44, Washington. 3-0, min. 88, Grigg.
REFEREE: Martin Atkinson (ENG): Booked - J.Evans, Kisliak, Sivakov
INCIDENTS: International Friendly between Northern Ireland and Belarus, held at Windsor Park, Belfast

Northern Ireland defeated Belarus 3-0 at Windsor Park in their final friendly at home before the Euro's begin next month. 

Kyle Lafferty opened the scoring for the Green and White army early in the first half on his 50th appearance for his country. Connor Washington scored to make it two before a late goal in the second half from Will Grigg made it a comfortable win ahead of the Euros for Northern Ireland. 

Lafferty scored early to give Northern Ireland a perfect start

Northern Ireland started the game well and they took the lead in the sixth minute when Lafferty smashed the ball home from close range. Washington played the ball into the box and the Belarus defence failed to clear the ball and it fell to Lafferty who made no mistake with a clinical finish. 

Lafferty wheels away in celebration after scoring on his 50th appearance for Northern Ireland | Photo: Getty
Lafferty wheels away in celebration after scoring on his 50th appearance for Northern Ireland | Photo: Getty

The goal gave the men in green and white a lot of confidence and they were pressing Belarus very well in their own half. The pressing lead to a free-kick in a good position which Steven Davis took and it found Chris Baird at the back post but the defender's shot was well blocked by the Belarus defence or else he could have been celebrating his first goal for his country. 

Washington made it two before half time

Northern Ireland made it two just before half-time, when Stuart Dallas crossed the ball into the box and Washington, headed the ball home into an empty net. The cross from Dallas went straight to the Belarus goalkeeper but he dropped it and it was costly as Washington punished him. 

The second goal was the last act of the first half which saw Northern Ireland totally control the game and Belarus just couldn't get going. The pressing in which the men in green and white did during the half worked as they kept Belarus under pressure which lead to the two goals.

Belarus came out much better in the second half and had a chance straight away when striker Mikalai Yanush hit a shot on the half-turn in the box but it went just wide of the goal. Belarus threatened again with a long range shot but it was well saved by Alan Mannus who replaced Roy Carroll at half time. 

Northern Ireland finally got going in the second half and threatened a few times but the Belarus defence made some crucial blocks to stop them going further behind. 

The dominance that Northern Ireland started to impose in the second half almost resulted in a third goal when a great free kick delivery from Oliver Norwood found Grigg but the striker put his header straight into the keepers hands. 

Belarus almost got one back in the 76th minute when a mistake from Niall McGinn let Alexander Hleb in on goal but Mannus was out quickly to smother any danger to the goal that there was.

Grigg made it three for Northern Ireland before the end 

Northern Ireland made it three two minutes before the end of the game when Grigg smashed the ball into an empty net. The goal was made by McGinn who beat two men and produced a wonderful cross which the goalkeeper could only parry into the path of Grigg who was there to tuck it home. 

The game finished to give the men in green and white a comfortable win and one they deserved as they were the better team throughout and it is a perfect way to prepare for the Euros.