Northern Ireland takes on Hungary on Sunday at Windsor Park in Belfast in what striker Kyle Lafferty calls “the most important games of their careers.”
Northern Ireland has been a big surprise during the qualification for Euro 2016 in France next summer. The Northern Irish tops Group F with 16 points after five wins, one draw and one loss. Lafferty, 27, has been in fine form, scoring six goals in seven games. After the 3-1 win over the Faroe Islands on Friday, they are only one win away from securing a spot in the tournament.
“I could never have imagined that we would be in this position with just three games to go — five wins, a draw and just one defeat,” Lafferty told The Daily Mail. “It really is some achievement.
The last meeting between the Northern Irish and the Hungarians ended in a 2-1 for Lafferty & Co. at the Groupama Arena in Budapest. The third-placed Hungarians are coming off a 0-0 draw against second-placed Romania.
“The players know this is the biggest game of our careers — win and we create history,” Lafferty said. “We want to do it so much for the fans — and they deserve it. It should be a very special night at Windsor Park.”
The last time Northern Ireland participated in a major international tournament was almost 30 years ago at the 1986 World Cup in Mexico. If they would fail to beat Hungary on Sunday, they do have games remaining against Greece and Finland to secure a win and a spot in Euro 2016.