Stuart Dallas became the first Brentford player to score for Northern Ireland since 1952 with his goal against Qatar.
A brisk attack saw McGinn cross from the right, allowing Grigg to flick the ball towards the back post where Dallas steadied himself and rifled home from close range.
Dallas was excellent and he was the first man to break a sweat when intercepting Abdelaziz Hatem's loose pass in the eighth minute. The Brentford winger charged towards goal but his shot bobbled harmlessly wide.
Northern Ireland should have scored on the quarter-hour when Dallas' hanging cross was fumbled by Amine Lecomite, but although Niall McGinn was quickly on to the second ball his shot was blocked by a defender.
Dallas then had his goal to give his side a deserved lead, becoming the first Brentford player to score for Northern Ireland since Jimmy D'Arcy in 1952, but their failure to add to their tally eventually cost Northern Ireland victory, keeping the seven-year friendly hoodoo firmly in place.
Qatar substitute Karim Boudiaf was the man to make them suffer, firing home with a snap shot from 25 yards that sailed into the top corner.