Steven Davis has set a new record as Rangers most capped men’s international player, now on the magnificent number of 130.
Despite the pleasing personal accolade which is likely to stand for a very long time, it was a night of disappointment for Northern Ireland as the fell to a 2-1 defeat to Bulgaria in Sofia.
Congratulations to Steven Davis on becoming the most capped Rangers player of all time 🙌 pic.twitter.com/NnaCCUDf1K
— The Rangers Review (@RangersReview55) October 12, 2021
A first half lead through Conor Washington after a VAR decision went the way of the visitors was eradicated in the second-half thanks to a wonderful ruthless, double strike from Todor Nedelev of Botev Plovdiv.
The 28-year old showed significant individual quality for both goals, giving Bailey Peacock-Farrell no chance between the sticks for NI.
On the night, a few former Rangers players featured for Norn Iron, with Jordan Thompson and Shane Ferguson starting the game as well as Jordan Jones who came off the bench late on.
Bulgaria 2-1 Northern Ireland (Nedelev, 63)
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— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) October 12, 2021
There will be questions pointed toward manager Ian Baraclough with his record of just three wins from 18 games attracting scrutiny.
In this game, NI wasted several first half chances but just did not react after the break when the hosts made tactical changes – it was an abject display with no reaction.
Baraclough’s team have now relinquished third place in Group C which is the objective with the Playoff spot already beyond the reach before tonight, in all reality.
That was confirmed after Tuesday evening’s games and now the remaining aim for the conclusion of the campaign is clear.
Two home games lie ahead next month, with Lithuania and Italy due to head to Belfast – 4 points will be the target and possibly to save the manager’s job whilst Bulgaria have only one remaining fixture – to travel to Switzerland, who themselves are currently joint top with the Italians.