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Slovakia denied by late Israel equaliser

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Michal Duris put them in front in Netanya and an average-looking Israel side struggled to respond

Michal Duris put them in front in Netanya and an average-looking Israel side struggled to respond

REUTERS

Michal Duris put them in front in Netanya and an average-looking Israel side struggled to respond

A late equaliser denied Slovakia a win away to Israel in the Nations League but they still served up a warning to the Republic of Ireland ahead of next month's Euro 2020 play-off with an under-strength side.

Due to injury and Covid-related travel issues, the Slovaks were missing six of their regular starting XI, including Newcastle United keeper Martin Dubravka and all-time top scorer Marek Hamsik, now based in China.

They were even short on players for the test in Israel, only naming seven of the permitted 12 subs on the bench. But a first-half goal from Michal Duris put them in front in Netanya and an average-looking Israel side struggled to respond.

Slovakia had started slowly but a good ball from Matus Bero put Duris clear and the veteran, now playing club football in Cyprus, slotted home to claim his sixth international goal.

Israel were unable to make their good spells count, Slovakia's stand-in keeper Marek Rodak, now at Fulham, untroubled for large spells of the first half. The home side looked sharper in the second half, Eran Zahavi going close from a free-kick, and they kept keeper Rodak busy in the last ten minutes.

Slovakia were unable to add to their single goal, Robert Bozenik going close late on with a shot, and they suffered in the final minute when sub Ilay Elmkies nabbed a goal for Israel, although Slovakia will be relieved to recover from a poor home defeat to the Czech Republic last week.