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Result: Northern Ireland earn draw with Romania

Northern Ireland hold Group F leaders Romania to a draw to remain on course for a place at Euro 2016.

Northern Ireland remain on course to qualify for the Euro 2016 finals after they held Group F leaders Romania to a goalless draw at Windsor Park.

Romania, who started the game one point ahead of their opponents, nearly took the lead inside two minutes when a well-struck Claudiu Keseru free kick flew inches wide, with Michael McGovern beaten.

The visitors squandered a golden opportunity to take the lead midway through the first half when Gabriel Torje broke through the home defence and teed up Keseru, but the forward's shot was well over the crossbar.

Northern Ireland's best chance of the half came moments before the interval as a Jonny Evans header from a set piece needed to be turned over by Ciprian Tatarusanu.

The hosts, trying to reach a major tournament for the time since the 1986 World Cup in Mexico, began the second period as brightly as they finished the first, with Stuart Dallas inches away from netting his second international goal with a fizzing shot from the edge of the box.

However, despite the home side's industry and growing confidence, they nearly fell behind after an error from Gareth McAuley, whose misplaced pass allowed Torje to sprint at goal before his shot took a deflection off Evans and dribbled narrowly past McGovern's post.

Midway through the second half, Chris Brunt was unable to take advantage of a free kick in a dangerous area as he smashed his effort well over Tatarusanu's crossbar.

Late on, Kyle Lafferty almost snatched a dramatic victory with an instinctive shot, which the Romanian keeper saved comfortably.

Moments later, Oliver Norwood's free kick forced Tatarusanu into another save as Northern Ireland appeared to be finishing the stronger.

However, Michael O'Neill's team ended with only a share of the spoils, which leaves them two points clear of third-placed Hungary, with only the top two teams guaranteed a place at next year's finals in France.

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Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill on the touchline during the World Cup qualifier against Portugal on September 6, 2013
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Today's Olympic highlights header

Thursday's key events


ROWING
· Comeback queen and super-mum Helen Glover goes for her third Olympic gold alongside Polly Swann in the women's pair final (1.30am)
· There is also a medal on offer for GB pair Emily Craig and Imogen Grant in the lightweight women's double scull final (2.10am)

SWIMMING
· As second-fastest qualifier for the final, Team GB's James Wilby is among the medal contenders in the men's 200m breaststroke (2.44am)
· Alys Thomas takes part in the women's 200m butterfly final, although he faces a difficult task to challenge for the medals (3.28am)
· Caeleb Dressel of the USA has been touted by some as the successor to Michael Phelps, and he has the chance to notch up a fourth Olympic gold in the men's 100m freestyle final (3.37am)

RUGBY SEVENS
· After Team GB's men narrowly missed out on a medal, the women get their campaign underway against the Russian Olympic Committee (3am) and New Zealand (10.30am)

HOCKEY
· It is a Great Britain vs. Netherlands double-header, with the men up first in Pool B (4.15am)
· Most eyes will be on the women's showdown between the two nations, though, as Netherlands - the world's best team - look to gain revenge on GB for defeat in the 2016 Olympic final (11am)

CANOE SLALOM
· Mallory Franklin takes part in the women's canoe semi-final, and will hope to do enough to qualify for the final later in the day (6am-8.45am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· With Simone Biles now out of the women's all-around final, the competition has been blown wide open. Team GB twins Jessica and Jennifer Gadirova are among those taking part (11.50am-2.05pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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