N. Ireland 2 South Korea 1

N. Ireland 2 South Korea 1

The game looked to be heading for a draw, but on 85 minutes, diminutive QPR attacker Smyth, a second-half sub, struck to give the hosts the win.

"I was brought up through the youth teams and I always said to myself if I got my chance with the Northern Ireland first team then I would take it", Smyth said.

It was a terrible beginning to the game as Kwon Chang-hoon caught out debutant Jamal Lewis and finished well beyond goalkeeper Trevor Carson, another winning his first cap at the age of 30.

Smyth, who played 90 minutes for the Under-21s against Spain on Thursday, became the first Northern Irishman in 17 years to score on his worldwide bow by firing home four minutes from time at Windsor Park.

The 20-year-old came off the bench against South Korea to replace Jordan Jones with less than ten minutes remaining.

It enhanced the growing reputation of Smyth, who was signed from Linfield last summer and scored on his QPR debut earlier this year. The Green and White Army adapted one of their favourite tunes to reflect that he was the player "on fire", as they celebrated a youngster who they will surely hope will be a start of the future.

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'I would love to go but it's Michael O'Neill's choice, ' said Smyth.

But a succession of substitutions as the game wore on interrupted the flow of the contest and Northern Ireland, missing the likes of regular captain Steven Davis and centre-forward Kyle Lafferty due to injury and with highly rated young Norwich fullback Jamal Lewis making his debut, pounced to snatch victory through debutant Paul Smyth with four minutes remaining.

"You can't assume just because a player from the North watches GAA that he wants to play for the Republic of Ireland", O'Neill told The Irish Daily Mail.

His enthusiasm is infectious and the boys love him.

He's still very small, he's still very light but he's got a huge heart for the game and we're delighted with him.

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