World Cup Qualifying - European - Group F
Israel1Northern Ireland1

Israel 1-1 Northern Ireland

Martin Paterson and Sheran Yeini

Northern Ireland restored some pride with a draw against Israel in Tel Aviv, a result which saw them finish fifth in World Cup qualifying Group F.

Eden Ben Basat gave Israel the lead on 43 minutes with a glancing header into the bottom corner from eight yards out.

Steven Davis equalised with a well-struck low right-foot shot from the edge of the box which bent away from the goalkeeper into the net.

Martin Paterson almost scored a winner, but Dudu Aouate saved brilliantly.

NI manager Michael O'Neill made six changes to his starting line-up from the 2-0 defeat in Azerbaijan, three enforced, for the final game of a hugely disappointing qualifying campaign.

Jonny Evans, Gareth McAuley and Oliver Norwood were suspended while Shane Ferguson, Chris Brunt and Shane Ferguson dropped to the bench.

Michael O'Neill

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Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill says his side's draw against Israel was "the very least his side deserved".

Daniel Lafferty, Chris Baird, Sammy Clingan, Corry Evans and Niall McGinn came in, along with Bradford defender Rory McArdle, who made his first competitive start at centre-half.

Meanwhile O'Neill reverted back to his favoured 4-2-3-1 formation in preference to the 3-5-2 which he employed in Baku on Friday night.

Northern Ireland's record prior to the game provided little cause for optimism - no wins in their last 13 away matches, competitive and friendly, one win in their last 21 away games and just three wins in 37 fixtures, home and away.

Coming into the game on the back of dismal away defeats by Luxembourg and Azerbaijan, the visitors produced some impressive build-up play during an uneventful first half, but were unable to pose any attacking threat in the final third of the pitch.

Paterson had an ambitious appeal for a penalty turned down after falling in the box and substitute Chris Brunt, on for the injured Evans, fired well over the bar.

At the other end, Lior Rafaelov was unfortunate when the ball bobbled in front of him in the area when he had a clear view of goal, Niall McGinn made a crucial tackle on Eyal Meshumar and Roy Carroll saved a Natcho free-kick with his feet.

Steven Davis and Eyel Meshumar in action
Steven Davis and Eyel Meshumar in action during the first half in Tel Aviv

Craig Cathcart slid to block a Ben Basat shot which deflected over the bar, before the home side broke the deadlock with two minutes of the half remaining.

Meshumar crossed from the right and Ben Basat was left unmarked to head home his sixth goal in seven qualifying games.

The early stages of the second period were even less inspiring than the first, but midway through the half Davis saw his slightly deflected low shot turned round the post by home captain Aouate.

The Northern Ireland skipper went one better soon after when he secured the morale-boosting equaliser, powerfully lashing in his fifth international goal.

Sammy Clingan won the ball in midfield and Jamie Ward played the ball into the path of Davis, whose well-struck shot edged out of reach of the keeper.

Soon after, Paterson almost made it 2-1 but his first-time shot was brilliantly saved by Aouate, while Chris Baird made a vital block late on.

Northern Ireland, who lost 2-0 to Israel at Windsor Park in March, finish their campaign on seven points, with one win, four draws and five losses, but at least have the consolation of ending on a positive note.

Line-ups

Israel

  • 1Aouate
  • 2Meshumar
  • 15Davidadze
  • 6Natcho
  • 3Ben HaimSubstituted forKeinanat 45'minutes
  • 21Tibi
  • 5Melikson
  • 13YeiniBooked at 20mins
  • 8Ben Basat
  • 7ZahaviSubstituted forBen Chaimat 71'minutes
  • 9RefaelovSubstituted forShechterat 79'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Alberman
  • 10Barda
  • 11Shechter
  • 12Keinan
  • 14Ben Chaim
  • 16Dgani
  • 17Ezra
  • 18Harosh
  • 19Ben Harush
  • 20Radi
  • 22Biton
  • 23Kleiman

Northern Ireland

  • 1Carroll
  • 2Hodson
  • 3LaffertySubstituted forFergusonat 78'minutes
  • 6Baird
  • 18McArdle
  • 20CathcartBooked at 86mins
  • 13EvansSubstituted forBruntat 24'minutes
  • 14Clingan
  • 9Paterson
  • 8Davis
  • 7McGinnSubstituted forWardat 65'minutes

Substitutes

  • 10Ferguson
  • 11Brunt
  • 12Mannus
  • 15Grigg
  • 16Mckay
  • 17Bruce
  • 19Ward
  • 22Little
  • 23McGovern
Referee:
Laurent Duhamel

Match Stats

Home TeamIsraelAway TeamNorthern Ireland
Possession
Home54%
Away46%
Shots
Home8
Away7
Shots on Target
Home4
Away2
Corners
Home6
Away4
Fouls
Home9
Away10

Live Text

Match ends, Israel 1, Northern Ireland 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Israel 1, Northern Ireland 1.
Corner, Israel. Conceded by Craig Cathcart.
Attempt blocked. Eden Ben Basat (Israel) left footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is blocked.
Corner, Israel. Conceded by Shane Ferguson.
Foul by Itay Shechter (Israel).
Shane Ferguson (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Booking

Craig Cathcart (Northern Ireland) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Tal Ben Chaim (Israel) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Craig Cathcart (Northern Ireland).
Eden Ben Basat (Israel) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Craig Cathcart (Northern Ireland).
Corner, Northern Ireland. Conceded by Dudu Aouate.
Attempt saved. Maor Melikson (Israel) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Corner, Israel. Conceded by Chris Brunt.
Sherran Yeini (Israel) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Martin Paterson (Northern Ireland).
Itay Shechter (Israel) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Craig Cathcart (Northern Ireland).

Substitution

Substitution, Israel. Itay Shechter replaces Lior Refaelov.

Substitution

Substitution, Northern Ireland. Shane Ferguson replaces Daniel Lafferty.
Corner, Northern Ireland. Conceded by Dudu Aouate.
Attempt saved. Martin Paterson (Northern Ireland) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Chris Brunt with a through ball.
Hand ball by Eyal Meshumar (Israel).
Corner, Israel. Conceded by Lee Hodson.
Attempt missed. Jamie Ward (Northern Ireland) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Lee Hodson.

Goal!

Goal! Israel 1, Northern Ireland 1. Steven Davis (Northern Ireland) right footed shot from outside the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Jamie Ward.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Substitution

Substitution, Israel. Tal Ben Chaim replaces Eran Zahavi.
Delay in match Sammy Clingan (Northern Ireland) because of an injury.
Lior Refaelov (Israel) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Chris Baird (Northern Ireland).

Substitution

Substitution, Northern Ireland. Jamie Ward replaces Niall McGinn.
Bebras Natcho (Israel) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Sammy Clingan (Northern Ireland).
Corner, Northern Ireland. Conceded by Dekel Keinan.
Attempt blocked. Steven Davis (Northern Ireland) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Chris Baird.
Offside, Israel. Bebras Natcho tries a through ball, but Ofir Davidadze is caught offside.
Eitan Tibi (Israel) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Martin Paterson (Northern Ireland).
Foul by Maor Melikson (Israel).
Rory McArdle (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Dekel Keinan (Israel) because of an injury.
Delay in match Craig Cathcart (Northern Ireland) because of an injury.
Corner, Northern Ireland. Conceded by Dekel Keinan.
Foul by Dekel Keinan (Israel).
Martin Paterson (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt blocked. Eyal Meshumar (Israel) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Lior Refaelov.
Foul by Sherran Yeini (Israel).
Martin Paterson (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Second Half

Second Half begins Israel 1, Northern Ireland 0.

Substitution

Substitution, Israel. Dekel Keinan replaces Tal Ben Haim.

Half Time

First Half ends, Israel 1, Northern Ireland 0.
Foul by Bebras Natcho (Israel).
Martin Paterson (Northern Ireland) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Goal!

Goal! Israel 1, Northern Ireland 0. Eden Ben Basat (Israel) header from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Eyal Meshumar with a cross.
Attempt blocked. Eran Zahavi (Israel) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Eyal Meshumar.
Corner, Israel. Conceded by Craig Cathcart.
Corner, Israel. Conceded by Daniel Lafferty.
Attempt saved. Bebras Natcho (Israel) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Ofir Davidadze.
goal

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