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Euro 2016: Lee's NI beat Ukraine

17 June 2016

Lee Hodson’s Northern Ireland claimed their first-ever European Championship victory on Thursday.

Hodson was among the substitutes for the Green and White Army, who beat Ukraine 1-0 in Lyon to give themselves a chance of reaching the knockout stages. Former MK Dons loanee Will Grigg was also on the bench.

After a tight first half, the Northern Irish took the lead through a brilliant Gareth McAuley header - the centre-back climbed superbly from Oliver Norwood’s pin-point free-kick to nod beyond goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov.

The teams were then forced off the field temporarily due to a hailstorm before Michael O’Neill’s men doubled their advantage in stoppage time courtesy of Niall McGinn, who pounced on Stuart Dallas’ rebounded effort to seal a first victory at a major tournament finals in 34 years.

Thursday’s win means Northern Ireland will, at least, finish third in Group C and with three points to their name they may have done enough to qualify as one of the best third-placed teams. However, a win in their final group fixture against Germany would guarantee their place in the next round.

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