Under-21 Euro qualifiers: Romania held by dogged Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland Under-21's hopes of reaching the Euro 2021 finals suffered a blow after a 0-0 draw with Romania.
Romania dominated the first half at the Ballymena Showgrounds but failed to break down Northern Ireland, who improved after the restart.
The visitors had Andrei Chindris sent off with 10 minutes to go for a second yellow card but held out for a point.
The draw does little to help NI's chances as they remain fifth in Group Eight with three draws from five games.
Adrian Petre blazed over from a short corner as Romania started the brighter side before Eoin Toal's header was deflected tamely into the arms of Andrei Vlad.
Valentin Mihăilă fired over from range before Perte stabbed the ball wide when the ball fell to him in the area after the restart as the visitors looked like they would continue their dominance.
However Ian Baraclough's outfit improved and Alistair McCann headed wide from Caolan Boyd-Munce's delivery when well placed before Mihăilă shot across the face of goal from a tight angle at the other end.
Boyd-Munce's free-kick then hit the side netting before Gartside batted away Dennis Man's stinging effort, with Kofi Balmer brilliantly blocking a powerful drive from the resulting corner.
Chindris was sent off for a second yellow card for clattering Jake Dunwoody off the ball but Northern Ireland struggled to break down the resolute visiting defence, with Boyd-Munce going closest with an effort straight at Vlad before David Parkhouse scuffed an effort wide when well placed.
Romania sit second in Group Eight, five points off leaders Denmark while NI's qualification hopes have taken a blow after three draws in five games.