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Irish held by Israel

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12 Aug 2009 21:29:00

Irish held by Israel

Manchester United defender Jonny Evans sat out Northern Ireland's 1-1 draw with Israel at Windsor Park with an ankle injury. He returned to his club on the day of the game for treatment as the province had to settle for a share of the spoils in this friendly. Grant McCann opened the scoring in the 17th minute with a free-kick but Israel equalised eight minutes alter through Elyaniv Barda. Israel showed their intent as early as the sixth minute with Avihai Yadin rattling in a shot from distance. However Birmingham goalkeeper Maik Taylor got his body behind the ball to make a comfortable save. Israel were playing some neat football and Yossi Benayoun saw his effort cannon off George McCartney in the 15th minute. It was Northern Ireland, though, who took the lead after 17 minutes through McCann. The Scunthorpe midfielder dusted himself down after being upended and fired a 20-yard free-kick beyond Dudu Aouate. The goalkeeper, who looked slow to react, only succeeded in palming the ball into the corner of the net. It was McCann's fourth goal for the province but Israel equalised in the 25th minute following a sweeping move. Roberto Collauti linked up with Aviram Baruchyan and he released Elyaniv Barda. He showed good skill to clip his effort over Taylor to bring the sides level. The province again found themselves on the backfoot in the 41st minute when Yadin showed good skill before firing in a shot that went narrowly wide of the post. David Healy turned quickly in the 51st minute but was unable to get enough power on his shot and Nir Davidovich made the save. Northern Ireland continued to push forward and sub Gareth McAuley headed wide following a cross from McCann in the 79th minute.


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