Queens Park Rangers: Conor Washington helps Northern Ireland shore up World Cup play-off spot

Conor Washington in action for Northern Ireland against Norway (pic: Martin Rickett/PA)

Conor Washington in action for Northern Ireland against Norway (pic: Martin Rickett/PA) - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

Plenty of QPR players were in action for their countries over the international break

Queens Park Rangers forward Conor Washington started for Northern Ireland as they lost 1-0 away to Norway in a World Cup qualifier on Sunday night.

The Green and White Army headed into the game Oslo already safe in the knowledge they had secured a place in November’s play-offs to reach next summer’s tournament in Russia.

Washington lasted 69 minutes for Michael O’Neill’s men before being replaced by Kyle Lafferty of Hearts, with the score 0-0.

Two minutes after the QPR man was substituted, Northern Ireland skipper Chris Brunt conceded an own goal, which proved decisive.

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On Thursday, Washington came off the bench for the final 21 minutes as Northern Ireland lost 3-1 at home to defending world champions Germany.

Northern Ireland will discover their opponents in the play-offs when the draw takes place on October 17.

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Washington’s QPR team mate Pawel Wszolek was an unused substitute in both of Poland’s qualifiers as they booked their place at next summer’s tournament.

Massimo Luongo, meanwhile, was part of the Australia squad that edged past Syria over two legs to reach a play-off with the fourth-placed team from North American qualifying in November.

The 25-year-old was an unused substitute on Tuesday as the Socceroos won 2-1 to triumph 3-2 on aggregate after extra time.

Luongo, though, had come on as a 69th substitute for Australia as they were held to a 1-1 draw in the first leg on Thursday.

In the African qualifiers, Idrissa Sylla started for Guinea in a 4-1 loss against Group A leaders Tunisia on Saturday.

The National Elephants went into the match knowing they could not qualify for the finals in Russia, and Sylla lasted 65 minutes before being replaced.

Away from World Cup qualifiers, Michael Petrasso played the full 90 minutes for Canada on Sunday as they were beaten 1-0 in a friendly at home to El Salvador.

QPR boss Ian Holloway will hope his international stars are not too tired when they return to training.

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