Miller draws on local ties to foil German youngsters

Republic of Ireland Under-21 2 Germany Under-21 2

Liam Miller proved the local hero when the Republic of Ireland Under-21 captain gave his side a deserved draw with an 85th-minute equaliser against Germany in his home town here yesterday.

The Irish had been trailing since the 33rd minute when Aston Villa's Thomas Hitzlsperger gave the visitors the lead with Germany's second goal in three minutes. But another native of Cork, John O'Flynn, teed up Celtic midfielder Miller to slot the ball home from close range.

O'Flynn had opened the scoring after 20 minutes, running onto a Sean Thornton through-ball and rounding the Germany goalkeeper Tom Starke. But the visitors did not take long to get back into the game, the equaliser coming 10 minutes later from Benjamin Auer, who scored his 10th goal in 13 starts for Uli Stielike's side, before Hitzlsperger put his side into the lead with a stinging shot into the top corner.

Both sides play Uefa Championship qualifiers on Friday, with Ireland at home to Albania and Germany visiting Scotland.

Republic of Ireland Under-21: Stack, Kelly, Capper, Cryan, Thompson, Miller, Barrett, Butler, O'Flynn, Thornton, Reid. Substitutes: Byrne, Graham Ward, Kohlmann, O'Connor, Connor, Deeney, Hoolahan, Elliott, Gilroy.

Germany Under-21: Starke, Preuss, Schlicke, Kringe, Lapaczinski, Hitzlsperger, Feulner, Balitsch, Auer, Azaouagh, Tiffert. Substitutes: Wiese, Gemiti, Franz, Madlung, Burkhardt.

Referee: J Eriksson (Sweden).