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Wales 1-1 Northern Ireland: Late Simon Church penalty denies Green and White Army victory

  • Cardiff falls silent for Johan Cruyff and to remember those who lost their lives in Belgium
  • Craig Cathcart puts Northern Ireland ahead with a tasty strike
  • Late penalty from Simon Church earns draw for Wales

Published 24/03/2016

Wales' Simon Church scores his sides first goal of the game from t he penlaty spot during the International Friendly at the Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff. PA
Wales' Simon Church scores his sides first goal of the game from t he penlaty spot during the International Friendly at the Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff. PA
Wales' Simon Church celebrates scoring his sides first goal of the game during the International Friendly at the Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff. PA
Goalkeeper Michael McGovern of Northern Ireland applauds the fans following the 1-1 draw during the international friendly match between Wales and Northern Ireland at the Cardiff City Stadium on March 24, 2016 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Northern Ireland's Craig Cathcart celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game during the International Friendly at the Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff. PA
Craig Cathcart #20 of Northern Ireland celebrates with teammate Kyle Rafferty #10 after scoring the opening goal during the international friendly match between Wales and Northern Ireland at the Cardiff City Stadium on March 24, 2016 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Craig Cathcart #20 of Northern Ireland celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the international friendly match between Wales and Northern Ireland at the Cardiff City Stadium on March 24, 2016 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Northern Ireland's Craig Cathcart (right) celebrates scoring his side's first goal of the game during the International Friendly at the Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff. PA
Ashley Williams of Wales heads the ball clear under pressure from Paddy McNair and Gareth McAuley of Northern Ireland during the international friendly match between Wales and Northern Ireland at the Cardiff City Stadium on March 24, 2016 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Joe Ledley of Wales and Steven Davis of Northern Ireland battle for the ball
Wales Joe Ledley (left) and Northern Ireland's Steven Davis battle for the ball during the International Friendly at the Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday March 24, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Wales. Photo credit should read: David Davies/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.
CARDIFF, WALES - MARCH 24: Steven Davis of Northern Ireland is brought down by David Vaughan of Wales during the international friendly match between Wales and Northern Ireland at the Cardiff City Stadium on March 24, 2016 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
CARDIFF, WALES - MARCH 24: The Northern Ireland team prepare to defend a corner during the international friendly match between Wales and Northern Ireland at the Cardiff City Stadium on March 24, 2016 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
CARDIFF, WALES - MARCH 24: Tom Lawrence of Wales goes past Conor McLaughlin and Craig Cathcart of Northern Ireland during the international friendly match between Wales and Northern Ireland at the Cardiff City Stadium on March 24, 2016 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
CARDIFF, WALES - MARCH 24: Joe Ledley of Wales and Steven Davis of Northern Ireland battle for the ball during the international friendly match between Wales and Northern Ireland at the Cardiff City Stadium on March 24, 2016 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
Wales' and Northern Ireland (backs to camera) pose for a minutes silence in memory of Belgium terror attacks during the International Friendly at the Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff. PA
The Northern Ireland team pose for the cameras prior to kickoff during the international friendly match between Wales and Northern Ireland at the Cardiff City Stadium on March 24, 2016 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
The opposing teams and match officials observe a minutes silence in remembrance to the victims of this week's terrorist attacks in Brussels during the international friendly match between Wales and Northern Ireland at the Cardiff City Stadium on March 24, 2016 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Craig Cathcart of Northern Ireland holds off David Cotterill of Wales during the international friendly match between Wales and Northern Ireland at the Cardiff City Stadium on March 24, 2016 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)
Northern Ireland's Michael O'Neill (right) shakes hands with Wales' manager Chris Coleman during the International Friendly at the Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday March 24, 2016. See PA story SOCCER Wales. Photo credit should read: Nick Potts/PA Wire. RESTRICTIONS: Editorial use only, No commercial use without prior permission, please contact PA Images for further information: Tel: +44 (0) 115 8447447.
The Wales team line up for a minutes silence in remembrance of Johan Cruyff prior to kickoff during the international friendly match between Wales and Northern Ireland at the Cardiff City Stadium on March 24, 2016 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
A general view of the Cardiff City Stadium prior to kick-off. PA
A young Wales fan cheers on their team during the international friendly match between Wales and Northern Ireland at the Cardiff City Stadium on March 24, 2016 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
A general view of the Cardiff City Stadium prior to kick-off. PA
A young Wales fan cheers on their team during the international friendly match between Wales and Northern Ireland at the Cardiff City Stadium on March 24, 2016 in Cardiff, Wales. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)
A raise the flag card attached to a seat in the Cardiff City Stadium, Cardiff. PA
Northern Ireland coach Michael O' Neill and captain Steven Davis face the media ahead of their match against Wales at Cardiff City stadium (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Simon Church's 90th-minute penalty denied Northern Ireland a first victory in an away friendly for 10 years.

Craig Cathcart fired home on the hour mark to put Michael O'Neill's side ahead against a country they had not beaten since 1980.


However, Church - one of a raft of substitutes brought on by Chris Coleman - drew Gareth McAuley into a late foul in the area and converted the spot-kick himself to make it 1-1.

Coleman continued to shuffle his pack and Joe Allen was introduced to cheers as the most high-profile figure in the Wales squad without Bale and Ramsey.

Substitute Isgrove looked to make a perfect first impression at the back post but was foiled by McLaughlin's sliding intervention.

At the other end, Lafferty headed wide from an offside position in the final act of his night before he was replaced with 17 minutes to go.

Having managed just 45 minutes combined in three substitute appearances for parent club Norwich all season, this was a useful work-out for the man who scored seven goals in qualification.

Simon Church, Wales' sixth substitute, headed wide in the closing stages, though the offside flag was raised from Vokes' initial shot anyway.

Yet Church would win a late penalty after drawing Gareth McAuley into a foul, and he smashed the spot-kick into the corner to salvage a draw.

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