Irish player ratings in disappointing defeat to Luxembourg

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STARTING XI

Gavin Bazunu – 7

Mark Travers was dropped after starting against Serbia to be replaced by Manchester City goalkeeper – on loan at Rochdale – Gavin Bazunu.

Making his first appearance for an Ireland senior team, it should have been a daunting experience for the 19-year-old. However, you wouldn’t have known that based on his performance.

Bazunu exuded confidence on the night. He received plenty of touches due to his willingness to show for the ball, was commanding in his box and produced a brilliant save to deny Gerson Rodrigues’ lob.

He could do nothing about Luxembourg’s winner and can be very proud of his performance.

Matt Doherty – 5

Didn’t really affect the game much during his time on the pitch. He was accurate with his passing but didn’t offer much in an attacking sense.

Subbed off at half-time after picking up a minor injury in the first-half.

Enda Stevens – 5

Got forward on occasion but failed to influence in the final third other than a handful of good passes down the line.

Séamus Coleman – 7

One of Ireland’s better players on the night, Coleman was very good defensively and comfortable in possession.

Despite playing at centre back, he got forward on occasion looking to create chances.

Dara O’Shea – 7

Another solid defensive performance from O’Shea. The West Brom centre back looked like an experienced international despite playing just his 6th game for Ireland.

His distribution from the back was also good on the night.

Ciaran Clark – 6

Made one excellent defensive intervention in the box to head over the bar and deny any Luxembourg players an opportunity and was comfortable defensively in his time on the pitch.

One criticism would be his passing out from the back, which was inaccurate at times.

Josh Cullen – 7

Another composed midfield performance from Cullen.

The Anderlecht midfielder showed for the ball whenever he could and was generally very accurate with his passing. Opted for the short pass most of the time but played a couple of killer balls to onrushing Ireland players in behind.

Hustled and harried throughout the 90 minutes and was impressive throughout.

Jason Knight – 7

Started in place of Jayson Molumby and played very well. His energy and determination allowed him to intercept and draw fouls on a number of occasions.

His passing was also accurate for the most part,

Alan Browne – 5

After a very good performance on Wednesday, Browne was more than underwhelming tonight.

He gave the ball away on a handful of occasions and squandered the chances that came to him, including one header in particularly which he dragged wide despite being in plenty of space.

Callum Robinson – 6

The Sheffield United man was heavily involved in Ireland’s best attacking move of the game. He produced a pinpoint cross into James Collins’ feet but his shot was somehow saved by the Luxembourg ‘keeper.

Otherwise, though, he was quiet in the final third.

James Collins – 6

Ireland’s most dangerous player on the night.

Arguably should have scored after latching onto Callum Robinson’s cross but he made something out of nothing more than once in the game, also.

Very nearly scored a spectacular overhead kick but, again, luck wasn’t on his side.

SUBSTITUTES

Robbie Brady – 6

Came on at half-time for Matt Doherty and started off well, swinging a couple of good crosses into the box.

He gradually faded out of the game though and was sloppy in possession at times.

James McClean – 5

Tried to get down the left flank and change Ireland’s fortunes but failed to produce.

The Stoke City winger wasn’t effective after coming on, unfortunately.

Shane Long – 6

Worked hard as usual and had one half-chance with a header but failed to get enough power onto his effort to trouble the ‘keeper.

Troy Parrott & Jayson Molumby – N/A

Not on long enough.

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