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Late Przemyslaw Placheta strike earns Norwich point against Preston

Norwich City v Preston North End – Sky Bet Championship – Carrow Road
(Image credit: Nigel French)

Norwich twice came from behind to earn a 2-2 draw against Preston at Carrow Road – and give their supporters something to cheer about.

A noisy contingent of 1,000 fans were at the game as part of the EFL’s test events and they were treated to a battling display from one of the favourites for promotion, even though they were some way below their best.

After going behind to a 14th-minute Scott Sinclair penalty, the Canaries levelled after 31 minutes when Teemu Pukki netted his first goal from open play since the tail end of last year.

Preston again got their noses in front when defender Darnell Fisher netted just before the break but Norwich refused to lie down and made sure they had a point to go with the opening-day win at Huddersfield when substitute Przemyslaw Placheta fired home a second equaliser five minutes from time.

Preston, beaten at home by Swansea in their opening fixture, were the better side in the opening stages and took just 14 minutes to make their superiority count.

The opener came from the penalty spot, with Oliver Skipp adjudged to have shoved Ben Davies as the big defender jumped for Sinclair’s corner.

Sinclair took responsibility and sent Tim Krul the wrong way to give manager Alex Neil an early boost on his return to a ground where he enjoyed so much success as City’s boss.

Norwich struggled to make any impact, with new boy Kieran Dowell going off injured midway through the half, and needed a helping hand from a former player to get back on level terms just past the half-hour mark.

Visiting keeper Declan Rudd appeared to have Pukki’s glancing head from a cross from Xavi Quintilla well covered and duly got his hands to the ball but he succeeded only in pushing it into his own net to give the Canaries an equaliser they barely deserved.

Daniel Farke’s side started to knock the ball around with more authority once that one had gone in but were stunned when Preston regained the lead after 42 minutes.

An excellent pass put Sinclair through on the inside left channel and although Krul palmed away his shot the loose ball fell kindly for an unmarked Fisher, who blasted home from around 10 yards.

Norwich went close to equalising for a second time in the 52nd minute when Max Aarons curled a shot just over from long range after a prolonged period of home pressure.

Onel Hernandez was then wildly off target from a Pukki cutback as the improved Canaries continued to press while at the other end Krul needed to alert to keep out a close-range effort from Patrick Bauer following a right-wing corner.

Adam Idah joined Pukki in a two-pronged strike-force just after the hour mark as Norwich looked for a way back into the game and almost made an immediate impact.

His fierce drive was palmed into the path of fellow sub Placheta just outside the six-yard box but with the goal at his mercy the summer signing from Poland blasted high and wide.

The hosts spurned another opportunity after 77 minutes when Placheta curled a free-kick over after Todd Cantwell had been upended on the edge of the box.

Norwich finally got the second goal they deserved with five minutes remaining.

After a spell of pinball in the Preston penalty area, the ball fell nicely for Placheta and he volleyed home past a stranded Rudd to make it 2-2.

Rudd then made a superb reflex save to keep out Pukki’s header from a Placheta cross to deny Farke’s side a stoppage-time winner.