One keeper is the best in the world and the other plays for Hamilton Accies…but if you were watching the game between Germany and Northern Ireland this afternoon you would not have been able to tell the difference. Michael O’Neill’s men rode their luck on their way to a narrow defeat to Germany which leaves them with a fantastic chance of qualifying for the last 16 as one of the best third place teams.
It was a dogged display from Northern Ireland, who threatened little going forward, but for all their blocks, interceptions and tackles, it was McGovern who kept them in with a strong chance of the last 16. The keeper, whose Accies contract is up this summer, was easily man of the match, making a string of solid blocks and acrobatic saves.
Early stops to deny Mezut Ozil, Thomas Muller and Mario Gotze caught the eye but his one-handed stop to deny Mario Gomez in the second half was one of the saves of the tournament.
McGovern is certainly putting himself in the shop window as he looks for another club this summer. Rangers and Aberdeen have been linked with him in the past, but his performances here will have certainly caught the eye all around Europe.
While a 3-0 or 4-0 defeat would have left them on the verge of going out, a 1-0 scoreline leaves Northern Ireland with a real chance and the soon-to-free-agent McGovern will be a national hero if his saves mean a historic qualification for the last 16.