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Delight for Northern Ireland, despair for Scotland

8 October 2015

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Northern Ireland reach Euro 2016 finals as Group F winners, but a last-gasp equaliser sees the Scots knocked out.

There were wildly contrasting emotions for the Rovers players on duty on an international evening full of drama.

In Belfast, Corry Evans played a hugely influential role as Northern Ireland booked their place in the finals of a major tournament for the first time since 1986 with a 3-1 victory over Greece.

The Rovers midfielder set the Green and White Army on their way with a pin-point pass that lead to Steven Davis sliding in to give Northern Ireland a first half lead.

Three minutes into the second half their advantage was doubled as Josh Magennis headed home a corner.

It was then dreamland at Windsor Park as Davis added a third just before the hour mark, and although Greece pulled a goal back three minutes from time, there was to be no denying Northern Ireland their place in next summer's finals in France.

Confirmed as Group F winners, the Northern Irish face Finland in Helsinki in their final match on Sunday.

It was a different story at Hampden as Scotland missed out on the chance to be at next year's tournament in dramatic fashion.

Grant Hanley started for the Scots, but they found themselves a goal down inside three minutes when Robert Lewandowski opened the scoring for Poland.

Matt Ritchie levelled on the stroke of half-time, before Sunderland striker Steven Fletcher put Gordon Strachan's side in front on 63 minutes.

But with a chance of a play-off place in their grasp, a 94th minute corner for the Poles bounced off the post and the in-form Lewandowski was quickest to react to force home the equaliser.

Jordan Rhodes was an unused substitute for the Scots, who now can't finish any higher than fourth place. Germany progress despite being defeated 1-0 by the Republic of Ireland.

Ireland now face Poland in Warsaw on Sunday for a chance to join the Germans in the finals.

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