Daryl Murphy’s first international goal salvaged a point for the Republic of Ireland in their opening World Cup qualifier against Serbia in Belgrade.
The Newcastle United striker headed home a corner from Robbie Brady in the 80th minute to give Martin O’Neill’s side a share of the spoils.
The goal ended a long wait for Murphy to find the net for his country; last night was the Waterford native’s 23rd international appearance.
The Boys in Green got off to the perfect start when Jeff Hendrick, who recently moved to Premier League side Burnley, found the net with a left foot strike from the edge of the penalty area.
It took until the hour mark for Serbia to draw level as Filip Kostic fired past goalkeeper Darren Randolph close range.
The home side went ahead just minutes later when Dusan Tadic stepped up to convert a penalty after Jonathan Walters was adjudged to have fouled Kostic.
Both teams had chances to find the net, and Walters did just that but his effort was ruled out for offside.
As the game entered its closing stages, substitute Murphy took centre stage to power his header past Serbia shot stopper Predrag Rajkovic.
You would have taken a point before the game started. We fought back magnificently from conceding the second goal and absolutely deserved a point.
– Martin O’Neill
Elsewhere in Group D, Wales were comfortable 4-0 winners over Moldova thanks to a brace from Gareth Bale and a goal apiece from Joe Allen and Sam Vokes.
Meanwhile, Austria got their campaign off to a winning start with goals from Martin Hinteregger and Marc Janko in the first half enough for a 2-1 victory away to Georgia.