Jonny Evans has been shown a red card for a rash challenge against Azerbaijan - as his frustrating season continues.
Northern Ireland always go into qualifying campaigns for major competitions with a degree of mooted optimism. Because they do have a knack for the odd surprise result. In the campaign for qualification for the 2014 World Cup there has been a couple of such results.
They held Portugal in Porto and beat Russia at home with a goal from Martin Paterson. But it has never been a problem with Northern Ireland pulling off shock results, it is avoiding them against the teams they should be defeating.
In this campaign they have lost and drawn with Luxembourg in qualifying group E, and drew with Azerbaijan at home. On Friday they flopped against a team they would have fancied their chances of getting something from once again, losing the return match against the Azeri’s.
They lost 2-0, with goals from Rufat Dadasov and Mahir Shukurov giving the home team victory in Baku.
He lost his rag when an Azeri striker evaded his first challenge, so he proceeded to scythe him him down immediately, almost taking team-mate Gareth McAuley out in the process, such was the ferocity of the challenge.
For Evans it was another blow in what has been a struggle of a season. Evans was a regular last season due to injuries in the United defence. But this term he has played just twice under David Moyes and has endured a frustrating time.
And it looks as if he decided to take all that anger and frustration out on the Azeri national team - with this piece of rash tackling…
image: © apasciuto