Northern Ireland 3 Israel 0: Gavin Whyte nets three minutes into international debut to seal win for Michael O’Neill’s side


GAVIN WHYTE needed less than two minutes of his Northern Ireland debut to find the net as Michael O’Neill’s side enjoyed a 3-0 win over Israel in a friendly at Windsor Park.

Whyte scored the third goal of the night moments after coming on as a substitute to add to first-half strikes from captain Steven Davis and Stuart Dallas.

Northern Ireland forward Gavin Whyte netted just three minutes into his international debut
Whyte, 22, wheels away in delight after netting the third goal against Israel
Pacemaker Press

It helped the hosts to a first win in four and a much-needed result after the frustration of Saturday’s 2-1 Uefa Nations League loss to Bosnia & Herzegovina in a match Northern Ireland dominated.

Though they did not enjoy the same levels of possession or create as many chances, Northern Ireland did succeed in carving out clear openings – and then made them count.

O’Neill made five changes from the weekend, with Will Grigg rewarded for his stoppage-time consolation goal with his first Windsor Park start, while Trevor Carson replaced Bailey Peacock-Farrell in goal.

Israel, under new management and fresh from a 1-0 loss to Albania, proved tougher opponents than Bosnia to break down, and it was not until Jamal Lewis’ blocked effort in the 10th minute that Northern Ireland had a strike at goal.

Southampton captain Steven Davis opened the scoring for Michael O’Neill’s side
Pacemaker Press
Leeds ace Stuart Dallas doubled Northern Ireland’s lead with an expert volley
PA:Press Association

But after Moanes Dabour squandered a fine chance for Israel- when he turned down the opportunity to shoot first time – the visitors were punished by Davis’ 13th-minute opener.

Paddy McNair won a corner after an impressive burst down the right, and with echoes of David Healy’s goal against Spain 12 years ago, the Middlesbrough man pulled the ball back for Davis to lash home from the edge of the area.

They had the lead, but Northern Ireland were not looking comfortable yet.

Israel, who lost their first match under new coach Andreas Herzog to Albania on Friday, showed plenty of endeavour going forward and twice threatened through QPR forward Tomer Hemed.

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