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Dion Charles could become Northern Ireland favourite and Shayne Lavery could earn move after promising displays against USA

Steven Beacom


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Shayne Lavery and Dion Charles were among Northern Ireland's brightest sparks during the defeat to the USA.

Shayne Lavery and Dion Charles were among Northern Ireland's brightest sparks during the defeat to the USA.

Shayne Lavery and Dion Charles were among Northern Ireland's brightest sparks during the defeat to the USA.

The importance of Northern Ireland's first senior international against the United States of America was summed up by the team sheet. Steven Davis and Jonny Evans weren't on it; not even listed amongst the 12 substitutes.

Ian Baraclough’s captain and vice-captain were wrapped up in cotton wool as the visitors won 2-1 in a friendly that was largely uneventful bar a stunning late strike from Niall McGinn.

Davis and Evans were rested so they could conserve every drop of energy for the match that really matters at Windsor Park this week – that crunch clash with Bulgaria in the World Cup.


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