Captain Steven Davis breaks the British international caps record with a 126th cap for Northern Ireland
Captain Steven Davis breaks the British international caps record with a 126th cap for Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland had to settle for a disappointing scoreless draw despite dominating possession against a toothless Bulgaria at Windsor Park.

Stuart Dallas hit the post with a first-half header for the hosts while Gavin Whyte and Niall McGinn went close after the break.

The visitors almost stole a win at the end but Bailey Peacock-Farrell produced a superb save from Dimitar Iliev.

It leaves Northern Ireland with one point from two World Cup qualifiers.

They are still looking for a first win during 90 minutes in 11 matches under Ian Baraclough.

Their next Group C game is away to Lithuania in September.

With group leaders Italy making it three wins from three by defeating Lithuania, Northern Ireland are third in the table behind Switzerland in second.

After losing 2-0 to Italy in their qualifier last week, NI’s hopes of qualification for a first World Cup finals since 1986 now look bleak with home and away matches away to Switzerland still to be played after they resume their campaign in September.

What was a damaging draw could have been a crushing defeat if Peacock-Farrell had not dived full-stretch to turn an Iliev header from an injury-time corner round the post.

More to follow.

Line-ups

Northern Ireland

Formation 4-1-3-2

  • 1Peacock-Farrell
  • 4BallardSubstituted forSmithat 74′minutes
  • 5Evans
  • 20Cathcart
  • 3Lewis
  • 8Davis
  • 14Dallas
  • 17McNairBooked at 33mins
  • 6SavilleBooked at 70minsSubstituted forKennedyat 74′minutes
  • 21MagennisSubstituted forLaffertyat 82′minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 18WhyteSubstituted forMcGinnat 64′minutes

Substitutes

  • 2McLaughlin
  • 7McGinn
  • 9Charles
  • 10Lafferty
  • 11Ferguson
  • 12Hazard
  • 13Evans
  • 15Thompson
  • 16McCann
  • 19Smith
  • 22Kennedy
  • 23Hughes

Bulgaria

Formation 3-5-2

  • 1Naumov
  • 2HristovBooked at 24mins
  • 4AntovBooked at 45mins
  • 22Hristov
  • 17YomovSubstituted forKaragarenat 73′minutes
  • 8VutovSubstituted forIlievat 45′minutes
  • 7KostadinovSubstituted forVitanovat 44′minutes
  • 18Chochev
  • 21TsvetanovSubstituted forZanevat 73′minutes
  • 9GalabinovSubstituted forIlievat 73′minutesBooked at 86mins
  • 11Despodov

Substitutes

  • 3Zanev
  • 5Vitanov
  • 6Karagaren
  • 10Delev
  • 12Iliev
  • 13Karadzhov
  • 14Dimov
  • 15Bozhikov
  • 16Malinov
  • 19Iliev
  • 20Iliev
  • 23Iliev

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