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Whyte scores on debut as NI beat Israel in friendly

Northern Ireland's Gavin Whyte celebrates after he scores to make it 3-0. Credit: Press Eye

Gavin Whyte scored on his Northern Ireland debut to round off a 3-0 win against Israel.

The former Crusaders winger struck less than two minutes after coming on in the second half of Tuesday night’s friendly at Windsor Park.

It added to earlier goals from Steven Davis and Stuart Dallas to complete a comfortable victory for Michael O’Neill’s side.

“He’s been very impressive in training,” the manager said of Whyte.

“We wanted to get him into the game, he’s made that jump across to full-time football with Oxford and he’s started very well there.

“In the space of less than three months he looks a different boy, stronger, sharper - I’m delighted for him now.”

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The result saw Northern Ireland return to winning ways after Saturday’s 2-1 defeat to Bosnia-Herzegovina in the UEFA Nations League.

The hosts dominated the match and succeeded in carving out clear openings and then making them count against an Israel side under new management.

Davis lashed home the opener from the edge of the area on 13 minutes, with Dallas adding the second five minutes before the break.

In the second half, Oxford man Whyte came on replace Jordan Jones and was on the pitch 106 seconds before scoring his first international goal.

Dallas's cross from the left found fellow substitute Conor Washington and when his shot was saved, Whyte darted in to poke home the rebound.

The 22-year-old told Sky Sports: "The only thing to do was to hit it quick and that's what I did. Thankfully it went in.

“The manager told me to be positive, run at players and be the best that I can be."

Northern Ireland are next in action against Austria in the UEFA Nations League on 12 October, before facing Bosnia again on the 15th.