You've got to feel for NI, who worked their absolute arses off here, but you can't argue that the better team won. They join Spain, Poland and Sweden in Group E, and NI do not.
- E.T 2nd Half
- E.T 1st Half
- 2nd Half
- Škriniar (o.g.)87'
- 1st Half
Northern Ireland - Slovakia
Follow the Euro Qualifying live Football match between Northern Ireland and Slovakia with Eurosport. The match starts at 20:45 on 12 November 2020.
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Full-time: Northern Ireland 1-2 Slovakia a.e.t
Lewis wins a throw deep inside the Slovakia half; can Dallas pick out a man? No he can't and when the ball comes back, Rodak punches clear!
Can NI find one more chance?
There'll be three added minutes.
But his kick is straight to a defender's head, but then Thompson retrieves and curls in a much better ball and it's onto Evan's head! WHAT A CHANCE! BUT HE PLOPS A FREE HEADER STRAIGHT AT THE KEEPER! He's had better quarter-hours.
Peacock-Farrell will take it....
Lafferty wins a free-kick, pretty central, 40 yards out. This is it....
NI are looking for it, but it's not there.
Serbia-Scotland has gone to penalties! Follow along here., like we don't know what's going to happen.
Gyomber replaces Rusnak.
Boyce and Rodak are booked, for what I did not see.
Huffing and puffing. But the house is made of bricks.
GOAL! Northern Ireland 1-2 Slovakia (Duris) Pekarik clears and the ball ends up with Kucka, who looks for Duris; the ball kicks off Evans and Duric takes it well, moving the ball around him, and driving low, hard ... and past Peackock Farrell at his near post! It's not always the keeper's fault when that happens but that one was ... probably the keeper's fault.
The players are absolutely bushed.
Serbia-Scotland is still 1-1 too.
Off we go again.
Half-time in extra-time: Northern Ireland 1-1 Slovakia
Hamsik, who's had a quiet night, finds some space inside the box, but he's falling as he shoots and also extremely exhausted, putting his effort past the near post.
Oh gosh, Iceland didn't just concede a late equaliser to Hungary, they conceded a late winner too. Eeesh.
Ferguson replaces McNair. He goes to left-wing, so Dallas retreats to right-back.
McNair looks like he's done. He goes down again and has a little rest, so the physio comes on to massage his hammy.
McNair has a touch of cramp in his hamstring. He's run his arse off, in fairness.
McNair swings it out, but Kucka heads away ... only as far as Davis, who shanks back into the box, where Lafferty adjusts position to divert a shot ... just wide.
Nice link-up play between Lafferty and Boyce eanrs NI another corner....
Another change for NI, Flanagan replacing Cathcart.
I'd love to see stats about how many games that go to extra time don't go to penalties. Not many, I shouldn't wonder - at least in our time, because back in the day, penalties were extremely rare. What's changed, I think, is the pressure, and how well-organised defences are.
Dominik Szoboszlai is for real.
NI keep at it, and McNair wins a corner; he's done really well in the last quarter. Anyway, his team can't create anything, but they do keep Slovakia pinned back.
Can NI maintain the energy they showed in the closing stages? It was the introduction of Lafferty and the change to 4-4-2 which made the difference; if they can get the ball into the strikers, they're in business.
Off we go again.
Extra time it is then. Gosh.
Full-time: Northern Ireland 1-1 Slovakia
Slovakia probe. Hungary have equalised against Iceland.
Slovakia do the sensible thing, playing out time. They need to get to the final whistle and regroup, because momentum is now against them.
No doubt you've been expecting this: Scotland have conceded a late equaliser in Serbia.
There'll be four added minutes.
GOODNESS ME! Lafferty has made a huge difference, and he collects a pass from Whyte on the half-turn then swivels to shmice a low shot that's far too good for Rodak, cracking the base of the post! Can NI keep this up in extra time?
NI have really picked it up in these last 10 minutes and the goal was coming.
GOAL! Northern Ireland 1-1 Slovakia (Skriniar own goal) IT'S COME! McNair does really well down the right, playing a one-two off Davis and nashing into the box before crossing low towards the near post ... where Boyce puts the pressure on ... and Skriniar, who's been the best player on the pitch by far, sticks out a leg and deflects into the far corner form close range!
I think it's coming!
This is more like it, Dallas smacking a ball into the box and when it's not properly cleared, McNair bursts onto it .. but his shot is blocked, and when NI recycle, Lafferty's shot is too.
Mraz replaces Duda.
This is more like it, McNair firing into Lafferty, who touches off for Dallas, nashing down the left. But his first touch is heavy, making his cross problematic, and he can't pick anyone out.
But this is better! Leiws shakes off Rusnak and swings in a glorious cross, but no one attacks it and Satka humps clear.
NI win a thrown, Dallas hurls it into the box, and Kucka clears easily. The lack of anything more than that is slightly embarrassing.
England have scored a third against Ireland, Calvert-Lewin sticking a away a penalty. They've got a proper shot at doing something in the summer, though they could do with finding a midfield balance.
It looks like 4-4-2 for NI now. I daresay they'll pump a few more balls into the box.
Boyce and Lafferty, who's mourning the death of his sister, replace Magennis and McGinn.
There's not a lot going on now. NI are searching, but they've no idea where to look; they've no idea what they're looking for.
Yup, Slovakia are well in control now.
NI now have two proper wingers on the pitch. Whyte has gone to the right, with McGinn moving over to his more natural left side.
Evans heads clear and Duda continues his jump, imparting forearm to chest. He's booked.
And a double change for NI, Washington and Saville departing with Whyte and Thompson arriving.
And here they are, Duris and Hrosovsky replacing Mak and Lobotka.
Slovakia know they can finish this - they're preparing a pair of attacking substitutions.
Things have settled again, as they did in the first half, Slovakia imposing their technical skill once NI have huffed and puffed themselves out.
Lovely from Skriniar, charging forward and beating three men but they force him wide. Still, Slovakia retain possession and Hamsik, who's been quiet, drills a lovely ball out to Pekarik, who went too early and is offside.
Good finish, this.
NI have been much more aggressive in their pressing this half - before the break, they were allowing Slovakia to play out at their own pace.
It's a while since Slovakia mustered an attack of any kind.
Chance! Saville robs Sobotka and the ball breaks for McGinn, who finds Washington! This is the chance! And he makes a good connection too, but slaps his finish straight at Rodak.
Christie has given Scotland the lead in Serbia. Follow along here....
The crowd are up as NI push the pace. They're playing higher up the park, which is making it harder for Slovakia to play their way out.
NI get it out wide and Dallas swings over a cross, seeking Magennis, but Rodak sees it coming and collects easily enough.
NI win a throw and Magennis gets to stick the ball in, Rodak just about getting it away, but it comes back almost immediately, Magennis crossing again, and this time an unconvincing paw does just about enough.
At Wembley, Jadon Sancho's lovely finish has put England 2-0 up against Ireland.
Off we go again. Can Ireland find something better?
Slovakia have played pretty well, looking solid enough at the back and incisive enough in attack. NI have done ok, but they need to come up with an idea of how to attack that isn't just hit the big man, and fast.
Half-time: Northern Ireland 0-1 Slovakia
There'll be one additional minute.
Slovakia play out from the back and get it wrong, Lobotka's square pass to nobody intercepted by McGinn! But with Skriniar and Satka blocking his route to goal, he opts not to attack one of them, instead bending a hopeful shot over the bar from 20 yards. Silly behaviour.
This is a bit more like it, McGinn chopping onto his left foot and bending a lovely ball into the box, but Satka does brilliantly to get up with Magennis, heading away.
Skriniar allows a ball to bounce and Washington chases, but the defender has enough to find Rodak, who shanks into touch.
A lack of class isn't really an excuse either, because Ireland don't have much but were able to manufacture opportunities by looking to play a bit.
Balls into the box and long goalkicks isn't redundant as plan, but it can't be the only plan. Do NI have anything else?
McGinn looks for Cathcart at the back stick, but he's crowded out. Slovakia have dealt with the aerial stuff well enough, and NI don't seem to have any other ideas.
Magennis dashes in to nick the ball away from Rusniak, who's slow enough to leave one on him; McGinn will smash it into the box from wide on the left, not far off halfway. Total football or what?
Things are looking up for Hazza Maguire, who's headed England in front against Ireland. You can follow along here.
Skriniar knees McNair in the buttock, McNair goes down, and the ref gives Slovakia a free-kick. Excellent defending.
Nice from Satka, sprinting forward to dart a lovely little ball out to Mak, who dashes across the face of the NI defence before screwing a shot into Dallas and just past the post. Slovakia are by far the better team, with by far the better players; it really is that simple.
This is going exactly as Slovakia would like it to. NI have tested them in the air, but not created anything, and all the serious thrust sis coming when they counter, mainly with Pekarik down the right.
England-Ireland, Wales-USA and Serbia-Scotland are all goalless.
Dallas returns and NI have a corner ... which Rodak punches away really well.
Eeesh! Dallas hurts himself in a challenge with Kucka, perhaps in a clash if knees. He looks in pain and on the bench, McLoughlin is getting ready, but I'd expect him to carry on.
My system crashed, apologies - but we're back now.
McGinn crosses from the right and the ball drifts over towards the far top corner! But Rodak backpeddles and tips over for a corner.
GOAL! Northern Ireland 0-1 Slovakia (Kucka) The ball comes over from the left and Saville heads back to Evans, except Evans isn't there, having come closer to take a short one. This allows Kucka to screech onto the loose ball and though Evans gives chase, his only option is to foul and he daren't. So Kucka has a look, freezes the keeper, and passes inside the near post. That's a really calm finish, and NI are in huge trouble.
Pekarik ambushes Lewis and bundles through three challenges, taking himself from wide and outside the box to central and inside the box. But Dallas is there to clean up.
The game's lost a bit of impetus now, which will please Slovakia. They're moving it about, trying to draw NI out of position.
Slovakia take the heat out of things by knocking it about at the back, before Skriniar pings one out to Pekarik. Nothing comes of it, but this is basically how Slovakia want to play - from the back then out to the wings, unless Hamsik is in space.
Magennis wins a header; Lewis can't quite catch up with the flick on, but NI's attackers have Slovakia's defenders in the air.
Hamsik spreads to Pekarik, haring down the right, and he cuts back for Rusniak, inside the box. This is a half-chance, but he strikes across it and the ball flies over the bar.
Nice from NI, Peacock-Farrell humping downfield and Washington winning the header. Eventually the ball finds its way left to Saville, who might cross before Lewis does, nicely, and McNair, at the back post, heads wide.
The noise is great. Man, I've missed and miss this so much.
Decent start to proceedings, this.
NI win a corner down the right and McNair looks for Magennis, but Satka is up to clear.
Magennis darts in behind and Washington feeds him; he screws a shot across the face, but the flag goes up and a replay shows he went too early.
Duda was at Norwich last season and struggled - he's now at Koln, and looks a decent player, but he's not really got the pace to play on the shoulder. My guess is they'll look to play into and off him, which men dashing past at speed. Er, I think I've just explained what a false nine is.
Duda, who's playing as a false nine, pulls left and squares smartly, but no one's filling the gap he left.
NI are playing 4-3-3, not 4-4-2 as advised by Uefa's website. McGinn is on the right wing, Magennis down the left, and Washington through the middle.
Boos as Slovakia have possession, and then McNair skates down the right, lumping a cross beyond the back post.
The ground is absolutely jumping, and we're away!
The anthems are done, and it's time to go!
Here come the teams!
Marek Hamsik was the best player on the pitch and by far, when Slovakia played Ireland. He's easily the best player on either side, and his relationship with Duda is key to how his team play.
"Believe in what we can do, believe in each other," Baraclough tells Sky. He plans for his team to test out the opposition in the areas in which they've planned to test them. That means getting the ball wide and putting balls into the box - he's gone with two strikers - and says that if his team play as well as they can, they'll be right in it.
Elsewhere: North Macedonia have qualified, beating Georgia 1-0 in Tblisi. They join a group also including Netherlands, Ukraine and Austria.
There'll be 1060 fans inside Windsor Park tonight, but I bet it'll sound like ten times that. And what a pleasure it'll be to hear them.
It's a funny thing, British football. When I were a nipper, the home nations and Ireland had some absolutely brilliant players - Scotland had Hansen, Miller, McLeish, Strachan, Dalglish, McStay and Gough; Wales had Hughes, Rush, Ratcliffe and Southall; Northern Ireland had Whiteside and Jennings, Ireland had Houghton, Keane and McGrath. So, while their problems are also down to the collapse of Communism, which created a whole raft of new nations, the quality just isn't the same.
And England have a friendly against Ireland, which you can follow here...
Also going on: Scotland are at home to Serbia, also playing for Euro 2020.
Poland, Spain and Sweden are the teams, by the way, and like hell he doesn't know that - but fair play to him for pretending to the contrary.
Baraclough says that in the final minutes before the game, he doesn't say much. It's a build up of messages, and in that crucial time, it's about feeling togetherness, not just with the team or even the squad, but the staff too. He says it's a privilege to be the position they're in, and he can't even recall the group they'll be in if they win because it's not currently relevant.
And that's emphasised by Sky's expert telling us it's about who wants it more. It isn't, it's about who's better on the night.
Slovakia, meanwhile, welcome back Skriniar, who missed the Ireland game with corona. He replaces Vavro, while Satka is in for Valjent, Hubocan for Mazan, Lobotka for Hrosovsky and Mak for Mihalik. This is a much stronger team, basically, and it's hard not to fancy them.
Ian Baraclough makes one change from that win over Bosnia, Conor Washington replacing Corry Evans.
I'll not them down, and then we can investigate what it all means.
Slovakia: Rodak; Pekarik, Satka, Skriniar, Hubocan; Lobotka; Rusniak, Kucka, Hamsik, Mak; Duda. Subs: Jakubech, Greif, Pauschek, Valjent, Gyomber, Gregus, Suslov, Mazan, Mraz, Hrosovsky, Safranko, Duris.
The boys in green....
Let's have some teams...
Northern Ireland got to this point by dint of their Nations League performance and win on penalties against Bosnia-Herzegovina, while Slovakia had to slog through extra time and penalties against Ireland, after Wales pipped them to second place in a group that was won by Croatia. I think we can expect a game similar to the one we saw in Bratislava last month: short of quality and short on goals, but hopefully not short on energy and, at various points excitement. Either way, at the end of it all, we'll have elation and despondency for our entertainment, so stick with me for the fun.
This is an absolutely gigantic, colossal, monumental tussle. The winners tonight - after extra time and penalties if necessary - will be through to Euro 2020, which looks a lit like it's going to be played in 2021, and with crowds too! Oof madone!
Evening all, and welcome to Northern Ireland v Slovakia!