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Irish Under-16s denied win by late Israel goal

IRELAND came from behind to take the lead only to have victory snatched from their grasp by a last-gasp equaliser in the first of their two friendlies against Israel in Ra'anana yesterday.

Following a frantic start, Israel took a rather fortunate lead after 11 minutes when Irish goalkeeper Joe Coll was deceived by what looked like an intended cross by Assaf Madar. However, the visitors drew level on 22 minutes when Evergreen's Michael Drennan scored from the penalty spot after Kenneth McEvoy's cross had been handled.

Coll had to make two brilliant saves to thwart them before Ireland went ahead after 48 minutes when Ballincollig's Carel Tiofack netted from close range.

But Israel equalised five minutes into added-time with a powerful header from substitute Orel Horev which gave Coll no chance. The teams meet again tomorrow.

Boco's chance to shine at Cup

SLIGO Rovers star Romauld Boco will get a chance to shine on the big stage tonight when he lines out for Benin against Mozambique in the African Cup of Nations (live British Eurosport, KO 6.15), and his Irish club have not given up hope of re-signing him for next season.

Boco was one of Sligo's most impressive performers last season but the 24-year-old is out of contract and may opt to leave the Showgrounds if he can impress the scouts while lining out in the national team colours.

"We are speaking to Romuald but there is no decision yet. It's too early to say whether we will reach agreement," says Sligo boss Paul Cook, who brought Boco to Sligo in 2008.

Sligo have cut back on their budget for 2010 with Raffele Cretaro, Owen Morrison, Joe Kendrick, Martin Camano, Ger Rafter, Mike McGrath, Rob Turner, and Brian Cash all leaving. Padraig Amond and Gary McCabe have signed up while Dundalk man Chris Turner has also agreed terms