O'Neill still waiting for that winning feeling
Malta 0 Northern Ireland 0:Michael O'Neill is still looking for his first win as Northern Ireland manager after last night's goalless draw at Ta'qali National Stadium.
It is the fifth draw from eight games for O'Neill while Northern Ireland remain without a win since beating the Faroe Islands in August 2011.
Gareth McAuley did have the ball in the net in the 18th minute but it was ruled out for pushing and the visitors were grateful to goalkeeper Alan Mannus for two very good saves to deny former Coventry striker Michael Mifsud.
O'Neill selected his team with next month's World Cup qualifying match against Russia in mind. Chris Baird and Kyle Lafferty are both suspended for that game and did not travel to Malta, so there was a Northern Ireland debut for Alex Bruce in the holding midfield role while Walsall's Will Grigg won his second cap up front.
Bruce previously played for the Republic of Ireland but was able to switch allegiance as he did not make a competitive appearance.
MALTA: Hogg, Muscat, Andrei Agius (Camilleri,46) Dimech, Herrera, Sciberras, Failla, Paul Fenech, Cohen, Schembri (Bajad, 90), Mifsud (Terence Vela, 89). Subs not used: Haber, Zerafa, Ryan Fenech, Jacob Borg
NORTHERN IRELAND: Mannus, Hughes, McAuley, Jonny Evans (Cathcart, 56), Lafferty, Brunt, McGinn, Bruce (McCourt, 72), Ferguson ((McKay, 63), Davis, Grigg (Magennis, 86). Subs not used: Doherty, Cathcart, Corry Evans, Carson, McGurk.
Referee: Nikolay Yordanov (Bulgaria)