SportNorthern Ireland Sport

Northern Ireland ratings as they thump San Marino

Jamie Ward made his mark at the revamped Windsor Park
Jamie Ward made his mark at the revamped Windsor Park

Jamie Ward caught the eye as Northern Ireland continued their encouraging start to World Cup 2018 qualifying with a 4-0 win against San Mario. Here is how their players rated:

Michael McGovern - Had a very quiet night but when he was brought into play, he dealt with it comfortably. 6/10

Conor McLaughlin - Constantly running up and down the right flank all match and put in several crosses that were effective. He was barely tested and pretty much played as a second right-winger. 8

Gareth McAuley - Defensively sound and used his experience to help keep out San Marino. 7

Jonny Evans - Recycled the ball to good effect and dealt with everything that came his way. 7

Shane Ferguson: Similarly to McLaughlin, he played much of the match in the final third and set up the second goal with a fantastic left-foot cross for Kyle Lafferty to tap in. 8

Stuart Dallas - Steady performance, forming a great central midfield partnership with Steven Davis and Oliver Norwood to keep the ball moving. Only taken off to push for a second goal. 6

Steven Davis - Was the heartbeat of nearly every single Northern Ireland attack and kept his composure to slam home the penalty to give the hosts the lead. A captain's performance and just edged it for man-of-the-match. 9

Oliver Norwood - Kept the ball moving to maintain the high pressure on the San Marino defence and brought the wingers and full-backs into play on a regular basis. 6

Niall McGinn - Tested the goalkeeper on many occasions and was a handful for the San Marino full-backs throughout the match. He somehow failed to hit the back of the net. 8

Jamie Ward - Pulled the strings from the wing and when cutting inside. Had a few efforts that tested the San Marino goalkeeper and got the goal his performance deserved. Could have easily pipped Davis to man-of-the-match. 9

Josh Magennis - Was a handful for the two centre-backs all game, winning several aerial battles and constantly pressurising them. Thought he opened his account for the campaign but the goal was rightly ruled out. 7


Conor Washington (for Dallas, 65) - Had a glorious chance to score shortly after coming on but shot wide from six yards. 6

Kyle Lafferty (for Magennis, 73) - Came off the bench to net two goals and could have scored another three. An impact substitution with an assist too. 8

Paddy McNair (for McLaughlin, 78) - Did not get involved enough to have any effect on the match after coming on. 5