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Page last updated at 19:23 GMT, Saturday, 14 November 2009

Northern Ireland 0-1 Serbia

By Lyle Jackson

Danko Lazovic of Serbia in action against NI's George McCartney
Danko Lazovic of Serbia in action against NI's George McCartney

A classy goal from PSV Eindhoven striker Danko Lazovic was enough to give Serbia victory in Saturday's friendly at Windsor Park.

Lazovic drilled in a low shot to cap a neat move in the 57th minute.

Zdravko Kuzmanovic and Zoran Tosic had first-half efforts well saved by home goalkeeper Maik Taylor.

In the second half Northern Ireland had chances to take the lead but Kyle Lafferty missed out in front of goal and Chris Brunt put a low shot wide.

Defender Stephen Craigan then tried for his first international goal but saw his header saved by keeper Bojan Isailovic.

The result means Northern Ireland have won just twice in their last 20 friendlies.

Having lost their last home game to Slovakia in a World Cup qualifier, Nigel Worthington's men were keen to produce a good display.

Keeper Taylor had to be alert in the ninth minute to tip over a shot from Zdravko Kuzmanovic.

Niall McGinn then cut inside and tried his luck on goal but his shot was deflected for a corner by Aleksander Lukovic who could easily have scored an own goal.

Manchester United defender Jonny Evans did not come out for the second half because of a calf injury.

His club colleague Nemanja Vidic also sat out the second half.

Northern Ireland should have taken the lead in the 49th minute after good work by McGinn but Brunt sent his shot wide of the far post with his less-favoured right foot.

Serbia took the lead in the 57th minute with a quality score.

Lazovic fired past Taylor from the edge of the box after a great dummy from Gojko Kacar set him up following Tosic's cross.

However Northern Ireland threatened an equaliser six minutes later but Isailovic made a good block to keep out Craigan's header.

David Healy, relegated to the bench, came on in the 64th minute and soon scuffed a shooting chance wide of the mark.

The out-of-touch Sunderland striker had a great chance late on but curled his shot just wide from the edge of the area.

Northern Ireland: Taylor (Tuffey 77), Evans (McCann 46), Hughes, Craigan, McCartney, McGinn (McCourt 71), Davis, Baird, Brunt (O'Connor 65), Feeney (Healy 65), Lafferty (Kirk 71).
Sub Not Used: McGivern.

Serbia: Isailovic, Rukavina, Vidic (Subotic 46), Lukovic, Kolarov (Vukovic 67), Milijas (Ninkovic 46), Kuzmanovic (Kacar 52), Petrovic, Tosic, Jovanovic (Krasic 46), Lazovic (Lekic 76).
Subs Not Used: Stojkovic, Ivanovic, Tomovic, Zigic.

Attendance: 13,500

Referee: Albert Toussaint (Luxembourg)

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see also
Worthington pleased with display
14 Nov 09 |  Internationals
Feeney wants Worthington to stay
12 Nov 09 |  Internationals
Kirk keeps Northern Ireland place
03 Nov 09 |  Internationals
Czech Republic 0-0 N Ireland
14 Oct 09 |  Internationals

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