Newcastle United star Jamal Lewis was in action for Northern Ireland last night, and impressed against reigning European champions Italy.

The ace started for his country in their final World Cup qualifying match.

Northern Ireland v Italy - FIFA World Cup 2022 Qualifier
Jamal Lewis (Photo By David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

There was nothing to play for but pride for Northern Ireland.

Before kick-off, they were too far back to make it into the play-offs.

But there was potential for them to ruin things for Italy, and that’s exactly what they did.

It was an impressive defensive performance from Ian Baraclough’s side, with Northern Ireland holding their opponents 0-0 at Windsor Park.

Italy, who missed out on qualifying for the last World Cup, will now attempt to reach Qatar via the play-offs, with Switzerland winning the group after they beat Bulgaria 4-0.

Newcastle United Training Session
Jamal Lewis (Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images)

For Northern Ireland, it was a respectable third-place finish.

One man who caught the eye last night was Newcastle full-back Lewis.

The 23-year-old hasn’t seen much football this season back at St. James’ Park with Matt Ritchie currently ahead of him in the pecking order.

So here was a chance for him to make a bit of a statement.

And that he did, keeping threats like Federico Chiesa and Domenico Berardi quiet.

Some fans react as Newcastle star Jamal Lewis impresses against Italy

Several Northern Ireland players came in for praise after holding Italy.

It really was a brilliant and resolute performance to hold a team that have been in fantastic form over the past couple of years.

Newcastle United Training Session
Jamal Lewis (Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images)

Fans showered praise on Lewis, who will surely be hoping for a bit more game time under Eddie Howe back at Newcastle.

With performances like last night, Ritchie may well be looking over his shoulder:

 

Have something to tell us about this article?