Martin O'Neill sidesteps questions over Hull link after Ireland draw

Michael O'Neill believes a point was a more valuable outcome for Northern Ireland than the Czech Republic after the two shared the spoils in a Prague stalemate.

Daryl Murphy snatched a point for Republic of Ireland as they drew 2-2 with Serbia in their opening 2018 World Cup qualifier.

Substitute Daryl Murphy salvaged a point for the Irish with an 80th-minute header after Serbia wingers Filip Kostic and Dusan Tadic had cancelled out Jeff Hendrick's early opener.

Keane made the shirt his own scoring an incredible 68 goals in 146 global games and he jokingly set the Irish midfielder an impossible task if he wants to do the shirt justiceIt started so well for the Boys in Green as they took an early lead through Brady's old St Kevin's Boys team mate Jeff Hendrick but Serbia struck twice in the second half.

"I thought we thwarted them pretty well in the first half". Obviously, they got a lot of possession, particularly in the second half because we couldn't get the ball off them.

Republic of Ireland are playing in their first competitive fixture since reaching the knockout stages of Euro 2016 but it appeared that they could have made a wasted journey to Belgrade due to the wet conditions on Monday afternoon.

"It was a odd game, they got opportunities where nine times out of 10 they would have been expected to score - luck was on our side in these cases".

The crumbs of comfort for O'Neill came again from his defence, which kept a fifth clean sheet in eight, but, following the joyous scenes which greeted them upon their return from France, this was a stark reality check.

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They got their reward in the 62nd minute, as the ball fell to an unmarked Kostic eight yards from goal after decent work in the box from Tadic, and the Hamburg winger made no mistake in slamming the ball home.

"There will be no hiccups with my contract, I should imagine we've got it sorted". I don't know what else you are expecting. I haven't seen it.

They handicapped themselves, of course, by conceding a terribly soft goal before things had even settled but they dominated for the most part and had more than enough chances over the course of the night to make sure of the win.

The goal ended a long wait for Murphy to find the net for his country; last night was the Waterford native's 23rd global appearance.



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