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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

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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