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Last Updated: Sunday, 21 May 2006, 20:32 GMT 21:32 UK
NI beaten by Uruguay in friendly
Sammy Clingan (right) made his Northern Ireland debut
Sammy Clingan (right) challenges Guillermo Giacomazzi
Northern Ireland started their two-match US tour by losing 1-0 against Uruguay in New Jersey.

Fabian Estoyanoff's superb first-half strike from 35 yards proved the difference between the teams.

Steve Jones missed a couple of half-chances for Northern Ireland before Estoyanoff's 33rd minute goal.

Uruguay pressed hard after half-time and keeper Michael Ingham twice denied Andres Scotti although Steve Davis went close for Northern Ireland late on.

Overall, the under-strength Irish were fortunate to lose by only a single goal with a combination of Ingham's saves and poor Uruguay finishing keeping Lawrie Sanchez's team in touch.

Sanchez handed debuts to Nottingham Forest midfielder Sammy Clingan and Lincoln's Jeff Hughes at the Giants Stadium.

Jones burst into the Uruguay box in the 14th minute only for his control to let him down at the vital moment.

He had another sight of goal in the 26th minute but his tame shot posed no threat.

Estoyanoff struck Uruguay's goal in the 33rd minute with a thunderous shot from 35 yards.

The South Americans upped the pace after half-time and Vargas fired fractionally wide in the 52nd minute.

Scotti then forced Ingham to make two saves in rapid succession as Uruguay continued to dominate.

Northern Ireland's goal was living a charmed life and Scotti spurned another terrific opportunity to double Uruguay's lead when his effort from seven yards was deflected over the bar.

Skipper Davis almost conjured an equaliser at the other end when his long-range shot landed on the roof of the net, and Sanchez rang the changes after 75 minutes as Dean Shiels and Kyle Lafferty replaced Jeff Hughes and James Quinn.

Shiels had a shot charged down and more changes arrived in the 83rd minute when debutant Sean Webb and Gareth McAuley came on for Michael Duff and Colin Murdock.

Northern Ireland: Ingham, Duff (Webb 82), Capaldi, Murdock (McAuley 82), Craigan, Davis, Jones ( Thompson 60), Clingan (M Hughes 82), Ivan Sproule, Quinn (Lafferty 75), J Hughes (Shiels).

Uruguay: Carini, Valdez, Godin, Scotti, Garcia, Lopez; Estoyanoff (Surraco 82), Perez, Abreu, Giacomazzi, Vargas.

Six uncapped players in NI squad
19 May 06 |  Internationals

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