28/04/2004 Belfast Serbia & Montenegro 1-1 James Quinn
Maik Taylor (Roy Carroll), Chris Baird, Tony Capaldi, Stephen Craigan, Mark Williams, Tommy Doherty (Michael Hughes), Keith Gillespie (Steve Jones), Jeff Whitley (Danny Sonner), David Healy (Gary Hamilton), James Quinn (Andy Smith), Phil Mulryne (Paul McVeigh)
James Quinn’s goal earned Northern Ireland a battling draw against Serbia & Montenegro but they had to come from behind to do it.
Within seven minutes, the visitors took the lead with Dragutionovic’s pass setting up Mallorca striker Veljko Paunovic who calmly slipped the ball under Taylor for his first international goal. However, against the run of play Northern Ireland levelled in the 18th minute with David Healy delivering a superb cross which was converted by James Quinn. Healy had been released into space by a superb long ball out of defence by full-back Chris Baird.
On the stroke of half-time, the lively Healy evaded defender Kolakovic to create a great chance for himself but goalkeeper Kovacevic blocked the effort with his legs.
Northern Ireland boss Sanchez made four changes at half-time including Manchester United’s Roy Carroll taking over from Maik Taylor in goals. Gary Hamilton, Paul McVeigh and Steve Jones were also brought on with Wimbledon defender Mark Williams taking the captain’s armband in the second half. After a quiet opening to the second half, tempers became frayed after a late challenge from Albert Nadj on Paul McVeigh which led to Jeff Whitley squaring up to a couple of Serb players before order was restored. A few more hefty challenges led Welsh referee Ceri Williams to hand out six yellow cards in a 20 minute period with Doherty and goalscorer Quinn among the players cautioned.
Sanchez made three further changes 12 minutes before the end with Andy Smith, Danny Sonner and Michael Hughes replacing Quinn, Whitley and Doherty. Five minutes from time, Steve Jones claimed he should have had a penalty after tumbling in the Serb penalty area but his protests went unheeded. Substitute Sonner just failed to connect from close range after a looping cross from the lively Jones. Right at the death, Hamilton’s goalbound snapshot was turned wide by Kovacevic.
Northern Ireland: Taylor (Carroll 46), Baird, Craigan, Williams, Capaldi, Gillespie (Jones 46), Doherty (Michael Hughes 78), Whitley (Sonner 78), Mulryne (McVeigh 46), Healy (Hamilton 46), Quinn (Smith 78).
Subs not used: Kennedy, Murdock.
Serbia & Montenegro: Banovic, Cirkovic (Markoski 83), Dragutinovic (Vitakic 46), Gavrancic, Nadj, Kezman, Paunovic (Kolakovic 69), Vukic, Trobok (Ivic 46), Petkovic, Krstajic.
Subs not used: Dudic, Djordjevic, Miroslavjevic, Kovacevic.