Cheat sheet: How Michael McGovern boosted Northern Ireland's chances despite losing to Germany


Goalkeeper Michael McGovern produced an inspired performance as Northern Ireland lost 1-0 to Germany - keeping their chances of progressing to the last 16 of Euro 2016 alive and well.

Mario Gomez's first-half strike settled the two nations' final Group C clash but, having finished on three points and with a goal difference of zero, Michael O'Neill's men could still advance if results in the three other groups go their way.

Key moments

Michael McGovern saves from Thomas Muller

1. After 10 minutes McGovern did brilliantly to smother Thomas Muller's effort. It set the tone for what was to come - Northern Ireland under siege, great work from McGovern and some wasteful finishing from Germany.

2. Muller powered through the Northern Ireland defence in the penalty area then touched the ball back for Gomez to fire home with a deflected shot. The goal took 29 minutes to come but was the least Germany deserved for their dominance.

Mario Gomez celebrates scoring for Germany

3. With 81 minutes on the clock, McGovern produced yet another save, diving to keep out a Gomez header. That seemed to be the end of the onslaught - after that, Germany seemed happy enough to settle for 1-0.

Was it the right result?

Mario Gomez misses a chance

Germany were dominant without ever getting out of third gear. The more time went on, the more the optimist in you felt Northern Ireland could snatch an equaliser - but in truth they never looked like doing so. And you always felt Germany had another level to go to if they needed it.

Who played well?

For Northern Ireland you couldn't really look beyond McGovern. More than once he was quick off his line to deny German attacks, and he was single-handedly responsible for keeping the scoreline down. If they do reach the last 16 on goal difference as one of the best third-placed teams - as looks likely - McGovern will have more than done his bit.

Mesut Ozil turned in the classic Mesut Ozil performance for Germany, keeping things ticking over and setting the tone with his near faultless passing. Muller could consider himself a little unlucky after hitting the woodwork twice.

Who played badly?

Conor Washington playing for Northern Ireland

Conor Washington really didn't look like the right man for the occasion up front for Northern Ireland. Kyle Lafferty, who replaced him in the second half, looked like a better option.

And his opposite number Mario Gomez, although he scored, didn't do much else to convince as Germany's number nine.

Hero of the match

This was actually before the match. One kid decided dabbing in front of a global audience was more important than holding up a banner during the national anthems, and he went for it. We can't imagine he'll get invited back any time soon, but he got his 15 seconds of fame.

Will Grigg watch

With Washington selected up front and Kyle Lafferty later replacing him, Grigg was again left to sit on the bench while the Northern Ireland fans chanted his name over and over again. The fireproofing of the benches in this tournament must be impeccable.

Stat of the match

This was all about soaking up the pressure for Northern Ireland. Save the silky football for another day - this rearguard could well have earned them a place in the last 16.

Fashion watch

If that's the worst Joachim "finger sniffer" Low could be accused of, it's an improvement.

What next?

Dimitri Payet celebrates scoring for France

It's a case of wait and see for Northern Ireland, who look likely to progress as one of the best third-placed sides. That could even be confirmed tonight, depending on results in Group D. If they do go through they will face France or, less likely, Wales. That would be either on Saturday or Sunday.

Group winners Germany, meanwhile, look set to face either Albania or Slovakia in Lille on Sunday.