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Württemberg thwart Northern Irish efforts

Eastern Region NIR 2-2 Württemberg
The Northern Irish side could not cling on to a 2-0 lead with ten men, Mario Marinić striking the equaliser.

Mario Marinić gets Württemberg's equaliser against Eastern Region NIR
Mario Marinić gets Württemberg's equaliser against Eastern Region NIR ©Sportsfile

Richard Thompson strikes twice early to put Northern Ireland in front
Manuel Pflumm penalty and Mario Marinić strike thwart the ten men
Next games: Zagreb v Eastern Region NIR, Dolnośląski v Württemberg (28 June)

Württemberg pulled the rug out from under Eastern Region NIR, a late two-goal salvo in UEFA Regions' Cup Group B cancelling out Richard Thompson's early double.

The German side made all the early running, but Harry McConkey's men started their third UEFA Regions' Cup campaign with a flourish, Thompson latching on to William Armstrong's long ball to score with a stylish lob. His side's top scorer in qualifying with four goals, Thompson proved his finishing prowess once more inside three minutes, pouncing after an unconvincing Württemberg clearance.

A defender for the Württemberg side that hosted the 2003 finals, coach Michael Rentschler had reason to be disappointed by his side's rearguard showing, but he could be proud of the way they pushed forward in response. Daniel Schachtsneide's powerful shot was brilliantly saved by Brian Neeson, and a massed defence kept out Benjamin Sturm's curling effort from the edge of the box while the Northern Irish side sat deep to defend their lead – a task made much tougher by Colum Curtis's dismissal on 36 minutes.

Schachtschneider hit the post from close range after the break, but the dam eventually broke when Manuel Pflumm hauled Württemberg back into the game from the penalty spot after a foul on Mario Marinić. Marinić then completed the comeback, turning in a powerful low cross from Daniel Seeman, but while they pressed for a winner, a point had to suffice for Rentschler's men.

Eastern Region NIR celebrate their second goal
Eastern Region NIR celebrate their second goal©Sportsfile
Württemberg rejoice after scoring their equaliser
Württemberg rejoice after scoring their equaliser©Sportsfile