International round-up: O'Neill rues missed chances as Northern Ireland are held


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The Independent Football

Northern Ireland failed to record their first competitive win under new coach Michael O'Neill, drawing 1-1 at home with Luxembourg last night.

Dean Shiels, who plays in the Scottish Third Division for Rangers, put Northern Ireland ahead in the first half, after which the hosts missed chances to go 2-0 up. But with four minutes left Dan Da Mota's shot deflected off Ryan McGivern and in to cost O'Neill's men two valuable points.

"I'm extremely disappointed, it's a game we clearly should have won," said O'Neill. "We had numerous chances in the first half to add to the one goal we had and we played poorly in the second half."

Spain needed a goal four minutes from time to beat Georgia in their World Cup qualifier. The defending world champions began their campaign in Tblisi and were set for a goalless draw when Roberto Soldado swept in Cesc Fabregas' cross in the 86th minute.

Elsewhere in Group I, Didier Deschamps continued his winning start as France coach with a 3-1 win over Belarus at the Stade de France. The goals came from Etienne Capoue, Christophe Jallet and Franck Ribéry. Germany won their second qualifier with a hard-fought 2-1 win in Vienna. Marco Reus and Mesut Ozil from the spot scored their goals.

The Republic of Ireland beat Oman 4-1 in a friendly at Craven Cottage.