MARIBOR - Northern Ireland ended a 10-game winless streak and scored for the first time in eight matches by snatching an unlikely 1-0 victory over a dominant Slovenia in their opening Euro 2012 Group C qualifier on Friday.
The visitors spent most of the night defending desperately in the face of relentless attacks by 2010 World Cup qualifiers Slovenia.
But, having not found the net for a year, the Irish stunned the crowd 20 minutes from time when Craig Cathcart's low cross was turned in by Corry Evans with his first touch.
Slovenia cranked up the pressure even more after the goal and Valter Birsa and Zlatan Ljubijankic were denied by impressive goalkeeper Maik Taylor.
With group favourites Italy winning 2-1 in Estonia on Friday, Slovenia will want to get off the mark in Serbia on Tuesday.