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McAuley Leads Northern Ireland to Draw
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.

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the_gospel added 22:52 - Mar 29
Ipswich captain again next season.

Suffolk_n_Proud added 23:05 - Mar 29
I love GMac. I've only just realised.

ThatMuhrenCross added 23:56 - Mar 29
They just love G-Mac over there. The commentator was creaming over him all night. Man of the match though!

muhrensleftfoot added 06:40 - Mar 30
Man of the Match two games running for N. Ireland. The outstanding performer for ITFC over the last 2 seasons. I really do hope he signs the contract, but one or two Premier League clubs may have noticed. Loanee Bullard excepted, he's the only true Premier League class player at the club (Wickham will be too when he grows up), and it is only natural for him to want to play at the top level, particularly now he's in his 30s.

DiamondGezzer added 08:25 - Mar 30
muhrensleftfoot;- Totally agree. Let's hope he puts pen to paper this week.

Suffolk n Proud :- You could find yourself in the Sunday papers !

Calmingwind added 09:12 - Mar 30
nearly scored with a good header, im sure he will have admirers from other clubs looking at him... his agent wouldnt of been doing his job otherwise. i really hope he stays and delainy as well. as a partnership they are great. although i think smith could probably do just as good a job as delainy and would learn alot from GMac.

hollywoodginge added 12:41 - Mar 30
And to think everyone wanted rid of him until mid way through last season! It's a testament to him, another player whos price tag seemed ott but now looks very good value for the money, also although heavily questioned by many, keane has to take credit for this, he took him out of the spotlight at the right time and gave him a kick up the backside which has worked wonders. Hope he stays.

Dorsetblue added 13:15 - Mar 30
Worthington knows he is a good leader, we know he is a good leader, so why is Norris the captain? he is a good player but not a great leader. A good result for the NI boys as Slovenia are a good side. The Slovenia's thought they had three points in the bag or so I understand...

Lamby95 added 17:06 - Mar 30
Didn't watch much but was getting rave reviews from the commentators. "and another inception, who's it? Gareth Macauley AGAIN"

Ps. His header was going wide. :p

Worcester added 22:46 - Mar 30
Well done macca I was in a pub in Brierly hill (bad place to be an Ipswich fan) and almost got my head kicked in when he scored. Maybe they thought thats how Northern Irelanders speak....?

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