Paddy McNair and George Saville both played their parts as Ian Baraclough recorded his first win as Northern Ireland manager on Sunday.
Northern Ireland beat Malta 3-0 to earn Baraclough his first victory at the 12th time of asking.
McNair played the full 90 minutes, starting in a three-man defence, and had a hand in the goals scored by Gavin Whyte and Alistair McCann.
Saville came on for the final 30 minutes of the game replacing Aberdeen's Niall McGinn.
Former Boro youngster Jordan Jones scored the opening goal against the team ranked 175th in the world.
Northern Ireland now face a stiffer challenge later this week when they take on Euro 2020 bound Ukraine in Dnipro.