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Gritty Northern Ireland sink Ukraine in stormy Lyon

Football Soccer - Ukraine v Northern Ireland - EURO 2016 - Group C - Stade de Lyon, Lyon, France - 16/6/16 Ukraine's players react after Northern Ireland's Niall McGinn scores their second goal REUTERS/Max Rossi Livepic
Football Soccer - Ukraine v Northern Ireland - EURO 2016 - Group C - Stade de Lyon, Lyon, France - 16/6/16Ukraine's players react after Northern Ireland's Niall McGinn scores their second goal REUTERS/Max RossiLivepic

LYON, France (Reuters) - Northern Ireland scored two second-half goals to beat Ukraine 2-0 in a feisty Euro 2016 Group C match on Thursday that was briefly suspended due to a hailstorm.

Defender Gareth McAuley powered home Oliver Norwood's free kick after 49 minutes shortly before torrential rain forced the referee to take the players off the pitch.

They returned two minutes later and Viktor Kovalenko struck a fierce shot just over the bar as Ukraine pressed for an equaliser but Niall McGinn struck deep into stoppage time to seal his side's first win in a European Championship finals match.

Northern Ireland moved level on three points with Germany and Poland who meet in Paris later on Thursday. Ukraine remain bottom of the standings without a point.

(Reporting by Ed Osmond; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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