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Published: 19:35 | 5/9/16

Ireland hit back to secure point in Serbia


Jeff Hendrick and substitute Daryl Murphy finally broke their Ireland goalscoring ducks, as Martin O'Neill's side drew 2-2 with Serbia in the World Cup Group D qualifier in Belgrade.

Ireland took a third-minute lead as Hendrick drilled home his first goal in his 27th appearance for his country, via a deflection off Serbia captain Branislav Ivanovic, after the home side failed to clear a Robbie Brady free-kick.

But Serbia hit back in the second half, with Filip Kostic levelling on 62 minutes from close range after Dusan Tadic had taken John O'Shea out of the game with a flick in the box.

And Slavoljub Muslin's side took the lead seven minutes later, with Tadic beating Darren Randolph from the penalty spot after Hungarian referee Victor Kassai had pointed to the spot following Jon Walters' mistimed tackle on Kostic.

Serbia could have made it 3-1 with 16 minutes to play, but FC Copenhagen striker Andrija Pavlovic shot against the crossbar after Randolph, unconvincing all evening in Belgrade, failed to deal with Filip Mladenovic's shot from distance.

But Ireland equalised on 81 minutes as new Newcastle signing Murphy headed home Brady's corner for his first goal for the national team in his 23rd appearance.

Wales and Austria top Group D after their first-round victories over Moldova and Georgia respectively, while Ireland have one point going into the double header against Georgia at the Aviva Stadium on 6 October and Moldova in Chisinau three days' later.

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