Northern Ireland's European Championship dreams have been kept alive with their 1-1 draw against Sweden.
However, the BBC's Good Morning Ulster has learned of allegations that several senior squad members engaged in late-night drinking sessions after their recent defeat in Latvia.
That was just three days before a crucial match against Iceland when the team still had a realistic prospect of making it through to their first major finals in 20 years.
One eyewitness described what happened: "We passed a McDonald's which had a serving hatch and decided to call in there for something to eat.
"We saw a taxi pull up and we recognised a couple of the Northern Ireland players stepping out, the likes of Chris Baird, Jonesy [Steve Jones] and Steve Davis.
"It was very easy to see they'd had a lot of drink on board. I had a bit of a chat with Chris Baird to say 'unlucky and good luck', but it's just disappointing to see boys stepping out of a taxi at that time of night after being beaten in such an important game and still having everything to play for.
"If that's the attitude we have, we didn't have a chance in Iceland."
Senior lecturer in Sports Science at the University of Ulster, Dr Gareth Davison, says the players' chances of recovering fully after the Latvia game would have been hampered by drinking and staying out late.
There were 2,500 people over there who would have been ever so glad to pull on a pair of boots and a green jersey for Northern Ireland - it's every boy's dream - and to see players getting on like that, it's just a bit disappointing
Northern Ireland fan
"It's vitally important that you give your body time to recover and that really involves rest and recuperation after exercise. Alcohol impairs the recovery rate."
Dr Davison says drinking and staying out to the early hours is now unacceptable at a professional level in most major sports.
"There is a big difference between amateur and professional sport. If you want to be a professional you certainly look after your nutrition, you get adequate sleep.
"If you want to stay within the amateur ranks it may be acceptable, in some cases, to stay out late and consume alcohol."
When Good Morning Ulster contacted Chris Baird to ask him about the allegations, he confirmed he had been out with his two team mates until the early hours, but added that it was "none of the fans' business".
Not so, says the fan who was in Riga that night.
"There were 2,500 people over there who would have been ever so glad to pull on a pair of boots and a green jersey for Northern Ireland - it's every boy's dream - and to see players getting on like that, it's just a bit disappointing."
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