Georgia 1 Ireland 1 - Ireland player ratings

A goal up inside four minutes Martin O’Neill’s side spent much of the match on the back foot

 James McClean was Ireland’s best player in a very disappointing performance. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

James McClean was Ireland’s best player in a very disappointing performance. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

 

1 Darren Randolph: Despite Georgia’s dominance he had relatively little to do and was well protected in the air by Duffy and Clark. Slow off his line for Valeri Kazaishvili’s equaliser. Rating: 6

2 Cyrus Christie: Given plenty of protection by Walters, but was repeatedly caught out by Georgian left-back Giorgi Navalovski, who had the freedom of the left flank for much of the first half. Provided little in the way of attacking thrust until the latter stages. Rating: 5

3 Ciaran Clark: Played second fiddle to Duffy throughout as his partner dominated in the air, but his questionable challenge on goalkeeper Giorgio Makaridze did lead to the opener. Often bypassed as Ireland went long. Rating:5

20 Shane Duffy: Scored his first Ireland goal and was a threat in the air going forward. He was also a towering presence in his own box and made countless clearances. Distribution was poor but he isn’t picked for his passing. Rating: 6

17 Stephen Ward: A poor game for the Burnley full back. He owes McClean a post-match pint or two, with the winger offering tireless cover throughout - but still found himself caught out on a number of occasions. Offered little going forward. Rating: 4

6 Glenn Whelan: Sat incredibly deep yet offered little protection to his back four, all while barely playing a pass. The senior statesman in the Ireland midfield, he was pretty much anonymous. Rating: 4

22 Harry Arter: Harried honourably but ultimately struggled to influence proceedings in any discernible way. Ireland couldn’t string more than three passes together and this all stemmed from a lack of control in the middle. Rating: 4

This was a game to forget for Ireland manager Martin O’Neill. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
This was a game to forget for Ireland manager Martin O’Neill. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

10 Robbie Brady: Playing further forward in a midfield three he was often the only green shirt offering Long any sort of assistance, but was always isolated. Ireland were again reliant on set-pieces and his delivery was mixed at best. Rating: 5

11 James McClean: Has quickly become Ireland’s talisman and was one of few positives. His relentless work off the ball meant he didn’t get on it nearly enough – but he looked dangerous on the few occasions he did. Should have done better with a first-half header and spurned a late chance. Rating: 7

19 Jon Walters: Struggled to get into the game, and spent much of his 50th cap covering and chasing shadows in an awkwardly deep position. Offered a rare bit of class with a cross into McClean from which the West Brom winger should have scored. Rating: 6

9 Shane Long: Playing for Ireland must be a lonely, frustrating experience for Long, and he spent another 90 minutes chasing hopeful hoofs forward. Good hold up play made a late chance for McClean and he looped a header just over after 70 minutes. Rating: 5

Substitutes: Aiden McGeady came on for Arter and upped the tempo slightly but missed a golden chance, while Daryl Murphy was a nuisance physically but not much else. Uninspiring. Rating: 5

Manager: Spent the week talking up the threat of Georgia and then watched on as his side happily conceded territory and possession. A rudderless performance which could be terminal for Ireland’s World Cup hopes – not good enough. Rating: 4

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