Healy gives reminder to Schmeichel

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The Independent Online

David Healy beat his former Manchester United training ground opponent Peter Schmeichel to continue the prolific start he has made to his international career as Northern Ireland earned a point in their Group 3 World Cup qualification campaign against Denmark at Windsor Park.

David Healy beat his former Manchester United training ground opponent Peter Schmeichel to continue the prolific start he has made to his international career as Northern Ireland earned a point in their Group 3 World Cup qualification campaign against Denmark at Windsor Park.

The Old Trafford trainee, only 21, scored his fifth goal in six appearances for his country with what was their first effort on goal, after 38 minutes, against the run of play. But the advantage was deservedly cancelled out by Dennis Romme-dahl's strike on the hour.

The Danes had stamped their authority on proceedings early on with Thomas Helveg receiving a yellow card within the first five minutes for a poor challenge on Stuart Elliott.

The former Newcastle striker Jon Dahl Tomasson found Rommedahl on the right wing, who pulled the ball back for Ebbe Sand, but Northern Ireland's goalkeeper, Roy Carroll, pushed his shot behind.

Tomasson, who now plies his trade in Holland with Feyen-oord, again combined on the right-hand side with Romme-dahl after being supplied by Jan Heintze, but Rommedahl wasted a good opportunity by shooting over the bar.

Then it was Gerry Taggart's turn to spurn a good opportunity after Healy, foraging alone up front, had won a free-kick from Thomas Gravesen on the right. Kevin Horlock supplied the cross to the back post and the Leicester City defender, who had passed a fitness test on his groin, met the ball with his usually dependable head but directed it over the top.

Tomasson again found a way through by beating Taggart and he dragged the ball back across the goal, but Colin Murdock intercepted in time. Carroll then fended off a point-blank strike from Helveg with his legs, Pat Jennings style.

His opposite number would have been proud, while the opening goal that billowed Schmeichel's net came out of nothing following a misplaced pass by Jesper Gronkjaer. From 25 yards, Healy struck a swerving shot which eluded the Sporting Lisbon goalkeeper.

The home side gained confidence from the lead, inspiring another attempt on the Danish goal by Steve Lomas, who was in the right-back position, but his shot with the outside of his right boot cleared the bar.

Denmark came out purposefully for the second half and within two minutes, Stig Tofting received the ball on the edge of the area and fired narrowly wide. Carroll also parried Gronkjaer's drive and Murdock cleared in uncomplicated fashion before Sand reacted.

Soon afterwards, Tomasson released Gronkjaer, who went around the advancing Carroll but his cross was headed clear. At the other end, Healy's shot was deflected wide and from the resulting corner Taggart, Northern Ireland's leading goalscorer, headed over again.

Denmark's equaliser after 60 minutes had the home side appealing for offside. Romme-dahl again found space on the right from Tofting's pass and Carroll was once more circumvented but this time the PSV Eindhoven midfielder slotted home from an acute angle.

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