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Northern Ireland draw, Scotland slip-up

8 September 2015

Corry Evans and Grant Hanley both played for their respective countries yesterday, but they were on the end of different results.

The champagne will remain on ice for another few weeks after Northern Ireland could only draw with Hungary in their Euro 2016 qualifier on Monday night.

The Northern Irish went into the match at Windsor Park knowing a win over their opponents would secure their place in next summer's finals, but in the end they were grateful for a last-gasp leveller in added time.

Corry Evans started the match for the home side as they dominated the first half without reward, but Hungary improved after the break and took the lead when Richard Guzmics prodded home after keeper Michael McGovern's mistake.

It then got worse for Northern Ireland when Chris Baird was sent off, but in the third minute of five added at the end of the game, striking talisman Kyle Lafferty responded quickly to a rebound to fire home from close-range.

The point keeps Michael O'Neill's side at the top of their group after Romania could only draw with bottom side Greece.

The Greeks are Northern Ireland's penultimate opponents at home next month, before they end their qualifying campaign away against Finland. A win or two draws from those games will secure safe passage to France.

Scotland's chances of reaching next summer's tournament are almost out of reach after going down 3-2 at home to Germany last night.

It was a spirited display from Gordon Strachan's side as they twice came from a goal down, but they were unable to respond a third time.

Grant Hanley was back in the starting XI but it was the visitors who grabbed an early lead thanks to a deflected goal from Thomas Muller.

But the Scots hit back when Shaun Maloney's effort was saved and the ball rebounded into the back of the net off Mats Hummels.

However Scotland weren't level for long as Muller grabbed his second six minutes later, but they were back on terms just before half-time thanks to a fine James McArthur strike.

There were less opportunities in the second half, but it was the Germans who grabbed the crucial fifth goal. Muller and İlkay Gundogan exchanged a series of passes before Gundogan fired home.

The win sees Germany progress but the result leaves Scotland six points behind second placed Poland with just the two games remaining.

The Scots can still reach the play-off stage if they can claim four points from their matches against Poland and Gibraltar and hope that the Republic of Ireland fail to pick up any further points.

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