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Last Updated: Saturday, 6 September, 2003, 18:08 GMT 19:08 UK
NI draw in Ukraine
Ukraine 0-0 Northern Ireland

Andriy Nesmachniy and Oleksandr Horshkov of Ukraine in action against NI's Keith Gillespie
Keith Gillespie battles for possession against Ukraine

Northern Ireland hung on for a morale-boosting draw away to Ukraine but they could not end their infamous goal famine.

Sammy McIlroy's men have now gone 11 matches without a goal although the NI boss will be boosted by a resolute display in the Shaktar Donetsk stadium.

It was Northern Ireland's second successive draw in the Group Six campaign as they had held Spain 0-0 in Belfast in June.

Northern Ireland rode their luck at times and had a major score just before half-time when a shot from Andriy Voronin struck a post.

Michael Hughes was certainly fired up on his international comeback and picked up a yellow card in the 38th minute following a challenge on Voronin.

It means the Crystal Palace man is suspended for Wednesday's home qualifier against Armenia.

Keeper Maik Taylor showed good reflexes five minutes into the second half to make a save when Antoliy Tymoschuk rattled in a shot from distance.

Ukraine had most of the possession but their finishing frustrated the home fans.

Northern Ireland found themselves under siege in the closing stages with Oleksandr Melaschenko and Voronin sending shots over the top from inside the area.

But they managed to hold out to pick up only their third point of their Euro 2004 campaign.

They stay bottom of their group but could change that by beating Armenia in Belfast on Wednesday.

Ukraine: Shovkovsky, Luzhny, Federov, Tymoschuk, Nesmachny, Horshkov, Rebrov (Melaschenko 73), Husin (Gusev 17), Zubov, Voronin, Vorobey.
Subs not used: Reva, Shevcuk, Dmytrulin, Serebrennikov, Guy.

Northern Ireland: Taylor, Baird, Aaron Hughes, McCartney, Kennedy, Gillespie, Johnson, Doherty (Mulryne 67), Griffin, Michael Hughes (Jones 81), Healy (Andrew Smith 62).
Subs not used: Morris, McCann, McVeigh, Hamilton.

Booked: Michael Hughes, Doherty, Griffin.

Attendance: 24,000.

Referee: Wolfgang Stark (Germany).

NI aim to end barren run
03 Sep 03  |  Northern Ireland

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