There continued to be little between the two teams, before a Scotland mistake in midfield allowed Ireland to counter. The ball came to Ronan Young on the left wing, who surged forward before curving in a cross straight to half-time substitute Matthew Shelvin. Shelvin nodded it into the far corner, making it 0-1 to Northern Ireland after 55 minutes.
Scotland almost hit back through Derryn Kesson. A quick free kick found Adam Kirkwood in acres of space, and the left-back’s cross was perfect for Kesson. However the winger couldn’t put his header on target.
It didn’t take them much longer to get the equaliser though. The first chance came from another free kick that Liam Strachan crossed in. Kyle Banner’s back post header went right across goal but no one could get a touch. But, substitute Seyon Koshoendo didn’t give up on it, chasing it to the touchline before taking on two men and driving towards the byline. He then drilled in a low ball that found John Cunningham, and the striker swung his left boot, planting it into the net. 1-1!
The match started to heat up, with ‘tasty’ challenges flying in. These tackles saw both Northern Ireland’s Ryan Nimick and Scotland captain Morgan Reid booked within a matter of minutes.
Northern Ireland threatened to pull away as the game came to its conclusion. There was a good chance created by Sean Toland. The winger worked his way down the touchline, forcing his way into the box and crossing. It deflected to Lloyd Anderson, but he trundled his shot wide. Scotland’s Cunningham was then booked for a bad foul in the build-up.
Shelvin almost got a second, as the ball broke down the left and he twisted and turned the centre-half inside out before putting his left-footed shot just wide.
The match then ended in drama, as Northern Ireland had a goal ruled out for offside. The ball was played to Ronan Young about 35 yards out, and the midfielder weaved it onto his left foot before firing a low shot that keeper Wilson couldn’t hold. It broke to Shelvin who tapped in, but as he wheeled away in celebration, he saw the linesman’s flag raised.
Scotland then went up the other end of the pitch, and an aerial challenge saw the ball fall into the path of substitute Mark Smith, putting him clear through. However, he skied his shot over the bar!
An exciting finale to an evenly-matched game.