Nigel Worthington professed himself delighted with Northern Ireland’s professional performance in Prague as their World Cup qualifying campaign came to end with a 0-0 draw against the Czech Republic.

Northern Ireland’s outside chance of reaching the play-offs was dashed by wins for Slovakia and Slovenia and Worthington’s players will reflect on last month’s defeat by Slovakia in Belfast as the moment when their attempt to reach South Africa really came off the rails. The green and white army, featuring youngster Niall McGinn in midfield, defended stoically in a game of few chances but the point meant they finished fourth in a qualifying group that they stood a good chance of progressing from earlier in the campaign.

Aaron Hughes won his 70th cap for Northern Ireland at the heart of the defence and Chris Baird featured in what is now becoming a more familiar holding role in midfield.