Northern Ireland 3-2 Poland

Nigel Worthington's Northern Ireland took full advantage of some uncertain defending to remain in the hunt for FIFA World Cup qualification with ten points from six Group 3 matches.

Dramatic match
A thrilling contest at Windsor Park was in full flow even before Warren Feeney gave the hosts the lead inside ten minutes. It was their eleventh goal in qualifying and although the sides went in level at the break thanks to Ireneusz Jeleń, a Jonny Evans strike and Michał Żewłakow's own goal provided a cushion for the home side, which they needed after a late reply from Marek Saganowski.

Early chances
Poland survived two early scares after defensive errors allowed Feeney to fire just wide of the far post inside three minutes, while David Healy pounced on a weak Żewłakow back-pass only for Artur Boruc to deny him. But Northern Ireland did take the lead when Boruc misjudged a Chris Brunt cross and Damien Johnson headed back across goal for Feeney to tap in. Leo Beenhakker's charges barely threatened until they levelled in the 27th minute when Jeleń raced through and his drive had enough power to beat Maik Taylor.

Own goal
Northern Ireland began the second half with the same vigour as the previous one, forcing themselves in front again moments after the restart when Evans turned in a Grant McCann corner from close range. Poland's defensive misdemeanours reached their peak when Żewłakow's back-pass bobbled over the foot of Boruc just after the hour mark to make it 3-1 and, despite Saganowski pulling a goal back with a sublime diving header in stoppage time, Poland could not salvage a draw. They drop three points behind their opponents, having played a game less.