Club News

INTERNATIONALS: McAuley equals George Best’s goal tally

Defeat for Fletcher and Morrison at Wembley

ALBION trio Chris Brunt, Gareth McAuley and Jonny Evans all enjoyed a special night at Windsor Park as Northern Ireland recorded a brilliant 4-0 victory over Azerbaijan in World Cup qualifying.

Centre-back McAuley scored his ninth international goal, equalling the great George Best’s tally for his nation.

It will come as no surprise to Baggies fans to hear that Chris Brunt, who was making his first appearance for Northern Ireland since returning from injury, delivered the pin-point cross to the forehead of his club team-mate.

Albion’s No.11 was also on the scoresheet in Belfast, notching the fourth goal of the night which helped him to the Man of the Match award.

Evans had earlier played a part in Northern Ireland’s opening goal, flicking on a long throw at the near post into the path of Kyle Lafferty who slotted the ball home.

Defender Conor McLaughlin also found the back of the net as Michael O’Neill’s men climbed above Azerbaijan and into second place in Group C.

All three Baggies players completed 90 minutes.

Northern Ireland welcome Croatia to Belfast for a friendly on Tuesday night (ko 7.45pm).

Meanwhile, there was disappointment for midfield duo James Morrison and Darren Fletcher as Scotland were beaten 3-0 by England at Wembley in World Cup qualifying.

Albion skipper Fletcher captained his side and played 90 minutes, while Morrison was replaced by James McArthur in the 66th minute.

Three headed goals from Daniel Sturridge, Adam Lallana and Gary Cahill secured the three points for the Three Lions.