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Last Updated: Tuesday, 15 November 2005, 21:57 GMT
N Ireland 1-1 Portugal
Portugal's Costinha and Warren Feeney of Northern Ireland
Portugal's Costinha is challenged by Warren Feeney
Luton Town striker Warren Feeney made the most of a rare international start by scoring Northern Ireland's goal in their 1-1 draw against Portugal.

Feeney, who had not started for over three years and was a sub for the last seven games, scored with a looping header on 53 minutes.

Euro 2004 finalists Portugal had led through an own goal by Motherwell's Stephen Craigan just before half-time.

He diverted Cristiano Ronaldo's cross past helpless keeper Maik Taylor.

Northern Ireland did well to battle back against Luiz Filipe Scolari's side and the result allowed them to end the year on a positive note.

Back-to-back defeats against Wales and Austria in the World Cup qualifiers had taken some of the gloss off the famous victory against England.

However, they bounced back against a side ranked eighth in the world thanks to Feeney's equaliser.

Given manager Lawrie Sanchez was without a number of key players, he could claim a moral victory.

There were good performances from goalkeeper Maik Taylor and midfielder Steve Davis and Portugal knew they had been in a game.

The Belfast fans were also able to celebrate the appearance of Irish League star Peter Thompson.

The Linfield striker, with 18 goals this season, came on as a substitute for James Quinn with 14 minutes left.

Dean Shiels of Hibernian also won his first cap, coming on just before the end.

Northern Ireland: Taylor, Gillespie (Shiels 86), Murdock, Craigan, Capaldi, Jones (McAuley 45), Davis, Brunt, Elliott (McCann 45), Quinn (Thompson 77), Feeney (Sproule 86).

Portugal: Paulo Santos, Paulo Ferreira, Costinha (Alves 67), Petit, Pauleta (Nuno Gomes 46), Ricardo Carvalho, Ronaldo (Postiga 69), Tiago (Frechaut 76), Boa Morte (Caneira 62), Meira, Jorge Ribeiro.

Referee: Howard Webb (England).

Interview: Northern Ireland boss Lawrie Sanchez

Shiels targets N Ireland call-up
02 Apr 05 |  Internationals
Sproule rejects Dnipro transfer
11 Nov 05 |  Hibernian

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