Northern Ireland defender Gareth McAuley scored a second half own goal that saw his team lose 0 – 1 to Wales in the second of the Euro 2016 second round matches, staged in Paris on Saturday 25 June.
The match had no trappings of a derby with the teams posting a sluggish start but Northern Ireland slowly started growing in the game and managed to test the Welsh defence who provided pockets of resistance.
Jamie ward drew a great save from Wales keeper Wayne Hennessey on the ninth minute after cutting in and unleashing a great shot that the keeper punched out for a corner.
On the 18th minute, Wales had a forward surge and it ended with Aaron Ramsey with the ball in the net after connecting with Sam Vokes’ header but the flag was up for offside, rightly.
Hennessey had another good save from Jamie Ward on the 22nd minute this time from the right side, the ball going out for a corner that turned fruitless and on the 41st minute Gareth Bale took on three defenders successfully beating them but his final cross met no red shirt and the teams went to the break all level.
The second half was more of the same script; a dull affair even though Wales went forward as they threatened to take the lead.
Sam Vokes got to the end of a dipping Ramsey cross on the 53rd minute but his header was not well timed and thus lacked direction.
Bale tested Northern Ireland keeper Michael McGovern for the first time in the match on the 57th minute with a free kick after he was fouled 25 yards out but the keeper pulled a great save.
The deadlock was however broken on the 74th minute as Bale switched wings to the left and delivered a low cross, targeting Hal Robson Kanu who was advancing at the far post but Gareth McAuley’s attempt to black the cross saw him turn the ball to his own net.