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Last Updated: Tuesday, 6 February 2007, 21:41 GMT
Northern Ireland 0-0 Wales
Steve Davis bursts away from Carl Robinson
Steve Davis charges clear of Carl Robinson at Windsor Park
Northern Ireland and Wales failed to produce a goal in Tuesday's low-key friendly international at Windsor Park.

Kyle Lafferty's poor first touch saw him waste an early Northern Ireland chance while Chris Brunt also tested Wales keeper Danny Coyne.

Substitute Grant McCann hit the Welsh crossbar in the second half as Northern Ireland started to exert control.

Jason Koumas showed some neat touches but the Welsh were badly missing the class of the absent Ryan Giggs.

With David Healy out because of injury, Northern Ireland boss Lawrie Sanchez paired Lafferty and Ivan Sproule up front for the game watched by a 14,000 full house.

Wales boss John Toshack decided not to risk captain Giggs in the freezing conditions while highly-rated Southampton defender Gareth Bale was only on the bench.

The best chance of the opening half fell to Lafferty in the third minute but he was unable to control Chris Brunt's superb long ball and the Burnley striker's shot was easily saved by the recalled Coyne.

Craig Bellamy had the home defence on the back foot in the seventh minute and Michael Duff's defensive header almost ended up in his own net.

Chris Brunt (right) and Carl Robinson
Chris Brunt (right) went close for Northern Ireland in the first half

More good Bellamy running set up a chance for Jason Koumas in the 13th minute but the shot was sliced well wide.

Koumas's excellent passing was the main feature of the first half and he also tested Taylor with a curling 17th-minute free-kick.

The quiet opening was followed by an even duller second quarter with Brunt's shot, which tested Coyne in the 28th minute, a rare moment of excitement.

The half-time substitutions included Michael Ingham's introduction for Maik Taylor in the Northern Ireland goals.

Northern Ireland picked up the pace after the break and Sammy Clingan's miscued effort almost looped over Coyne in the 48th minute.

The pedestrian nature of the contest was finally interrupted when Northern Ireland substitute McCann thundered a 20-yard shot off the bar in the 63rd minute.

Brunt then sliced a Northern Ireland chance wide as the action belatedly began to liven up.

Northern Ireland continued to press in the closing stages but they were unable to break down the Welsh defence.


Northern Ireland: Taylor (Ingham 46), Duff, Craigan (Webb 79), Hughes, Capaldi, Gillespie, Davis, Clingan (McCann 60), Brunt, Lafferty (Thompson 68), Sproule (Shiels 67).

Wales: Coyne, Duffy, Evans, Collins, Nyatanga, Davies, Koumas, Robinson, Parry (Crofts 80), Vaughan (Cotterill 46), Bellamy, Cotterill (Easter 70).
Subs Not Used: Jones, Bale, Morgan, Ricketts, Valentine, Llewellyn.

Referee: C Richmond (Scotland)

SEE ALSO
Sanchez content with NI display
06 Feb 07 |  Internationals
Toshack takes positives from draw
06 Feb 07 |  Internationals
Injured Healy misses Wales match
01 Feb 07 |  Internationals
Wales call for Crofts and Coyne
03 Feb 07 |  Internationals


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