Worthington regret over late equaliser

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Northern Ireland manager Nigel Worthington felt a tinge of regret even though his side rattled Poland 1-1 in a World Cup qualifier at the Slaski Stadium.

Rangers striker Kyle Lafferty made the breakthrough in the 37th minute with a clinical finish after a fine move involving Damien Johnson and David Healy and the province were in sight of a superb victory in Group Three only for Mariusz Lewandowski to equalise 10 minutes from time.

Worthington said: "It is a fantastic result but we are all disappointed it is not three points. To come to a country like this, who have a very good team, we put our bodies on the line."

He added: "Everyone to a man was fantastic. We have got a very good point and the other game has finished in a draw as well. So I think it makes our point even better.

"We knew we would be performing in front of a passionate crowd. With a crowd like that, it is a great game to be involved in. The colour, the noise adds to the occasion.

"I told the players before the game, whatever you do, go out and enjoy it. In the first half they did exactly as I wanted. The second half you are expecting to come under pressure. But the way they stood up to the challenge is part of our make-up and it was important they did it."

Lafferty came off with an ankle injury, which will be assessed on Sunday, and replaced by Martin Paterson, who missed a golden chance of extending Northern Ireland's lead.

He latched on to a superb ball from Steve Davis, only to drag his effort wide of the target in the 65th minute.

The Burnley striker was distraught and the end of the game and Worthington said: "I imagine Martin is the same as all strikers, he would love to hit the back of the net.

"The goals Martin has scored over the years at his clubs you would put good money on him putting it away. So he is disappointed. If we had got it, we would probably have won the game."

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Kyle Lafferty
David Healy
Damien Johnson
Martin Paterson

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