Irish players ratings in draw against Qatar

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STARTING XI

Gavin Bazunu – 6

One of the 3 surviving starters – along with Seamus Coleman and Dara O’Shea – from the disappointment against Luxembourg, Bazunu certainly earned his recall to the starting XI.

The former Shamrock Rovers ‘keeper was one of the only positives on Saturday in one of the most disappointing Irish results in recent years.

He wasn’t as impressive tonight as his performance included a handful of shaky moments, but he also made a handful of decent saves and commanded his area well for the most part.

Couldn’t have done anything for the Qatari goal.

Cyrus Christie – 7

The Nottingham Forest full-back hasn’t started all that much for Ireland over the past couple of years, but has always made himself available and was one of the better performers tonight.

His link up play was particularly impressive down the right flank. He played a brilliant one-two in the first half which could have easily led to a goal as he bombed down the right wing before delivering a cross into the box which was unfortunately cleared.

He created possibly the best chance of the game – bar the goal – in injury time as he floated a brilliant cross into the box which found Josh Cullen in space, the latter didn’t place the ball well enough to beat the keeper, though.

His defensive play was also solid, making for an all-round impressive performance.

Dara O’Shea – 8

Probably the West Brom man’s best performance in an Irish shirt to date.

O’Shea was excellent defensively, regularly winning his 50/50s, forcing the opposition into mistakes and intelligently reading play.

As well as his astute defensive display, O’Shea rarely misplaced a pass despite playing a number of line-splitting balls.

If tonight’s performance is anything to go by, O’Shea should have a fruitful future in green.

Seamus Coleman – 7

Coleman’s brutal, but honest, assessment of Ireland’s performance against Luxembourg endeared himself even more to an Ireland fanbase who already admire the Donegal native.

Despite the result on Saturday, Coleman produced a typically solid display, form which he continued into tonight’s game.

He looked comfortable on the ball and was sound defensively, as usual.

Shane Duffy – 6

After sitting on the bench for the two World Cup qualifiers, Duffy started tonight and would have been looking to prove his doubters wrong.

The Derryman is having a poor season with Celtic on loan and has often been used as a scapegoat for his side’s underwhelming campaign.

He did show glimpses of his former self tonight, though, particularly in the first half.

Jeff Hendrick – 5

Played the entire game but failed to stand out other than a good ball into Shane Long within the opening minutes of the match.

Wasn’t progressive in his passing despite playing in an advanced role, opting for the simple option the majority of the time.

Jayson Molumby – 6

Looked composed in midfield, rarely rushing things and taking his time to pick out the right pass.

Molumby put in a typically hard-working performance and pressed the opposition whenever the opportunity arose.

Robbie Brady – 6

Not really on the pitch long enough to give a higher rating as he was subbed off in the 22nd minute due to injury. However, he played fairly well during his time on the pitch.

The Burnley man was heavily involved in the build-up leading to Ireland’s goal.

Daryl Horgan – 6

Provided the assist for Ireland’s goal with a pass into James McClean’s feet from a well worked corner routine and generally looked lively in the opening period of the game.

He did gradually fade out of the game, though, and was replaced just after half time.

James McClean – 7

A typically combative performance from James McClean. The Stoke City winger was probably Ireland’s most dangerous player in the opening stages and his goal reflected his impressive display.

His attacking influence gradually faded throughout the game but he covered every blade of grass and offered defensive protection on a number of occasions.

Shane Long – 5

Worked the channels well by making several good forward runs that unfortunately came to nothing.

Long’s link up play could have been better on a number of occasions and he missed a sitter while one-on-one with the Qatari ‘keeper.

He was always a willing runner but unfortunately his end product didn’t match his work rate.

 

SUBSTITUTES

Troy Parrott – 5

Came on in the 22nd minute and played the remainder of the match but failed to get involved too much.

He looked slow in possession and failed to release the ball early on a number of occasions.

However, he also showed glimpses of his potential by trapping the ball well and displaying good hold-up play on occasion.

Callum Robinson – 6

Looked lively after coming on and looked to get involved whenever possible, however it didn’t always come off for him.

He turned neatly on one occasion and managed to get a shot off, but other than that he didn’t have much of an impact in the final third.

Jason Knight – 6

Worked tirelessly as usual but unfortunately it didn’t always come off for the Derby man after coming on.

Received a yellow card for a blatant shirt pull and was sloppy in possession on a handful of occasions.

On the plus side, he managed to win a couple of free kicks and make something out of nothing on a couple of occasions.

Ryan Manning, Alan Browne & Josh Cullen – N/A

Not on long enough to rate.

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