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Hendrick helps Republic of Ireland earn big point

Written by Dan King

The Republic of Ireland gained a much-needed World Cup qualifying point against Serbia on Tuesday night, with Jeff Hendrick playing a key role for Stephen Kenny's side.

The Newcastle United midfielder was impressive in midfield during his 78 minutes on the pitch in Dublin, almost giving his side the lead with a shot on the turn from just outside the box which whistled just wide, as well as testing Predrag Rajkovic with a free kick. 

Ireland fell behind to Sergej Milinkovic-Savic's 20th-minute header before young goalkeeper Gavin Bazunu made a string of saves to keep them in the game.

And with four minutes left, Nikola Milenkovic's unfortunate own goal earned them a share of the spoils - and only their second point of this qualification campaign. 

Meanwhile the Republic's under-21 team were also in action on Tuesday, and they also had a Magpies player in their starting XI.

Defender Oisín McEntee - who last week joined Greenock Morton on loan for the season - played the full 90 minutes of a European Under-21 Championship qualifier in Luxembourg, which finished 1-1.

Ryan Fraser wasn't involved in Scotland's 1-0 World Cup qualifying win in Austria, with head coach Steve Clarke confirming that the 27-year-old had picked up a knock in training ahead of the match and has now returned to Newcastle. 

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