But it's heartache for G-Mac, Evans
ALBION duo Jonny Evans and Gareth McAuley enjoyed rave reviews but not the result from Northern Ireland's entry into the European Championship finals.
The Baggies pair were unable to prevent Poland earning a 1-0 victory with a second half goal from Arkadiusz Milik in the opening Group C clash.
Evans and McAuley received unanimous praise for their performances in the heart of a Northern Irish rearguard action which kept star man Robert Lewandowski quiet but could not prevent defeat.
McAuley was naturally dejected after the defeat saying: “It is disappointing losing the game but it’s not the end of the world, we’ve got two more games to come.
“We set up to try and take something from this game and we’re disappointed we didn’t.
“We changed things at half-time a little bit and then when they scored we changed the system again but we didn’t use the ball enough when we had it.
“I think we had too many bodies in there at times. We had two spare men. We set up to nullify Robert Lewandowski’s movement and it turned out he moved away and someone else scored in the second half.
“We don’t expect to dominate the ball and we have to be good without it – disciplined and focused. We were that, and we were resilient. There is no doubting the spirit and the determination of the lads."
McAuley and Evans will now turn their attention to the next Group C game on Thursday against Ukraine, who were beaten 2-0 by group favourites and world champions Germany.