A low cross from Paddy McNair was finished from close range by the Bolton striker to secure a deserved win.
Leicester City defender Jonny Evans led NI in to the guide on the half hour Igor Stasevich equalised with a deflected shot three minutes later.
The success sees NI top Team C with just 2 wins from their first 2 games.
At an exceedingly exciting orgasm to the match, Northern Ireland goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell made a fantastic save at the back post in the dying moments to preserve the home side’s 100% start to their Euro qualifying campaign.
Having defeated Estonia 2-0 on Thursday, it had looked like Michael O’Neill’s side were going to be held to a draw by a dogged Belarus, but the relief and joy at the Windsor Park crowd, which have been vocal during, was real at the final whistle.
The south Belfast stadium was back again to its bouncing most useful, with all the fans realising how important it had been for Northern Ireland to claim maximum points from their opening two games, with Germany and the Netherlands anticipating in Group C in the autumn.
Confident start sets tempo for win
O’Neill used last season’s Nations League side to evolve his squad’s design of play after the disappointment of losing out at the playoffs for the 2018 World Cup finals.
A far more positive, possession-based approach has been growing – if without tremendous success before goal of overdue – and it was once again evident on Sunday night, especially in the opening half an hour.
Inspired by inspirational captain Steven Davis from the deeper-lying midfield role, northernireland assaulted their visitors using energy and vigour from the outset, with Paddy McNair and Kyle Lafferty both forcing good saves from Belarusian keeper Andrei Kilmovich.
It was a clever and well-executed short corner pattern which created Evans’ opener after half an hour.
The guide only lasted just two minutes, however, with the people’ equaliser coming against the run of play once Stasevich struck a diagonal shot from the corner of the box.
The ball took a wicked deflection off Stuart Dallas and looped on the backtracking northernireland keeper Peacock-Farrell, who made an outstretched hand to the ball but couldn’t keep out it.
Change of shape leads to breakthrough
A recurring theme in northernireland’s pointless four-game Nations League campaign was that the team’s inability to convert opportunities and also get the most out of sessions of matches whenever they dominated possession.
It appeared as if which was yet again placed to become the narrative onto a cold spring night at Belfast as northernireland created a number of opportunities without finding the winner they were hunting for.
O’Neill obviously recognised that and attracted Magennis off the seat for McGinn and switching from the 4-4-3 to a 4-4-2 formation, with McNair moving into right-back and Stuart Dallas pushing forward to a familiar wide right role.
Liam Boyce had come off the seat for Lafferty to partner Magennis in advance by the time that the overdue winner came.
Magennis was involved early in the move for the critical goal, helping shift the ball into the right. McNair had drifted forwards from fullback to deliver a inviting low cross which Magennis side footed home in the front of the Kop.