McAuley Leads Northern Ireland to Draw
Tuesday, 29th Mar 2011 22:32
Gareth McAuley’s first game as captain of Northern Ireland ended in a 0-0 draw with Slovenia at Windsor Park this evening. McAuley won his 28th full cap and was unlucky not to score for the second game running when he had a header cleared off the line.
The 31-year-old said he took great pride in wearing the armband: “It was a very proud moment for me to lead the team out, with the family in the stand looking on.
“It was a nice night and I got a great buzz out of it, helped by the clean sheet but from a team perspective we were looking for the victory. Anything can happen from here on in and this is certainly not the end of the world for us.”
Northern Ireland coach Nigel Worthington had praise for the Blues defender: “Gareth is absolutely fantastic and I’ve watched him a number of times at Ipswich this year and he has done a fantastic job, but I’ve got to say, there was a lot of immense performances out there; the energy put in, commitment and I am absolutely delighted with all of them."
Elsewhere, Darren O’Dea won his sixth for the Republic of Ireland and 75th minute sub Damien Delaney his third - and his first while a Town player - as they lost 3-2 to Uruguay in a friendly in Dublin.
Márton Fülöp won his 24th cap and on-loan Blues striker Tamás Priskin his 33rd as they started for Hungary as they lost 5-3 to Holland in a Euro 2012 qualifier in Amsterdam.
Jaime Peters came on as a sub for Canada and won his 25th cap as they beat Belarus 1-0 in a friendly in Turkey, while Troy Brown won his third Wales U21 cap in their 1-0 European Championships qualifier victory in Andorra.
Photo: Action Images
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