UEFA European Championships 2016 Preview: Northern Ireland

Kyle Lafferty of Northern Ireland will lead the side into the European Championships in France next summer. Getty

Kyle Lafferty of Northern Ireland will lead the side into the European Championships in France next summer. (Getty)

Qualification to EURO 2016 came relatively easy for Northern Ireland, as they moved on to the group stage by winning qualification group F. Northern Ireland finished 6-3-1 in the qualification round and earning 21 points to top the group. Kyle Lafferty scored seven times for Northern Ireland to lead the team in scoring during the qualification stages.

This is the first European Championship for the Northern Ireland side, as the previous top finish for the Norn Iron was second (1976, 1980, 1984). The World Cup is a different story for Northern Ireland, as they have qualified for the world’s top soccer tournament three times, last in 1986. A quarterfinal finish in the 1958 World Cup is the best finish for the Northern Ireland side and David Healy’s 13 goals in 2008 qualifying was a UEFA European Championship record, matched by Poland’s Robert Lewandowski in the 2016 preliminaries


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