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Faroes hold Northern Ireland

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Conor Devlin

Conor Devlin

Conor Devlin

Northern Ireland's bid to qualify for the 2013 European Under-21 Championships got off to a disappointing start as they were held to a goalless drawn in the Faroe Islands.

The visitors were fortunate to come away with even a point as home captain Rogvi Holm could not beat goalkeeper Conor Devlin with a penalty two minutes into stoppage time.

Boss Steve Beaglehole will have been hoping for victory against perhaps the weakest team in Group Four, but the visitors could not find a way past their opponents.

Northern Ireland's next outing is a home game against the Faroes in August, which they will realistically need to win if their campaign is not to falter before any of the other teams in the group have even played a game.

The four other sides in the pool are Denmark, Serbia and unknown quantity Macedonia.

Beaglehole said before the game he was looking for his side to get off to a better start than they did in qualifying for Euro 2011, when they opened with three straight defeats, including a 6-2 home thrashing by Iceland.

His side ended that campaign second bottom of group two with seven points from eight games, their only two wins coming home and away against San Marino.

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