Ireland 0 Serbia 1 - Irish player ratings

Wes Hoolahan and David Meyler impress on frustrating night for Martin O’Neill’s side

Wes Hoolahan tries to hold off Nemanja Matic during Ireland’s narrow defeat to Serbia. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Wes Hoolahan tries to hold off Nemanja Matic during Ireland’s narrow defeat to Serbia. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

 

1 Darren Randolph: Did nothing wrong on a night when he had relatively little to do. Was alert to Mitrovic’s slightly scuffed first-half effort, but could do nothing about Kolarov’s thumping finish for the goal. Rating: 6

2 Cyrus Christie: Managed to keep tabs on Kolarov for most of the evening, and Serbia got more joy when they came inside through Tadic. Poor going forward and spurned a number of good openings down the right, particularly as Ireland chased an equaliser in vain. Rating: 5

20 Shane Duffy: Saw an early goal, a trademark thumping header, disallowed for offside. Was solid in the air again and made a stunning early block from Matic’s shot from the edge. Rating: 6

3 Ciaran Clark: Played second fiddle to Duffy again but was solid. Dealt well with Mitrovic but was badly caught out by his Newcastle team-mate early in the second half, with Serbia’s number nine playing in Tadic. Rating: 5

17 Stephen Ward: In some ways symbolic of Ireland’s performance as a whole – he made a couple of big, crowd-pleasing tackles but offered little in the way of quality going forward, and rarely got in behind. Rating: 5

18 David Meyler: Given the man of the match award on the back of a hard-working, industrious display. Did a great job of unsettling Serbia – but there was little silk to complement the steel. Rating: 7

10 Robbie Brady: Better set-pieces than against Georgia and the inclusion of a superior footballer in the form of Hoolahan saw him come out of his shell more . That said, both he and Ireland might be better served if he reverted to full back, as he did when Stephen Ward went off. Rating: 6

14 Wes Hoolahan: He was Ireland’s best player and passer for much of the first half. He linked up play well and didn’t shirk his defensive duties, at one point tracking back brilliantly to dispossess Tadic. Gassed badly before the hour but that’s what happens without regular football. Rating: 7

11 James McClean: His selection as a midfield enforcer come headless chicken had the desired effect off the ball as Serbia struggled for fluency. However, as a result he had little influence going forward and his shooting was horribly wayward. Rating: 6

19 Jon Walters: Picked as part of a front two but still spent most of the evening doing donkey work. Was involved in Ireland’s best move of the match, releasing Long down the left. Didn’t have the legs to get to an overlapping Kolarov as he burst through to score on the outside. Rating: 6

9 Shane Long: Had a lot of chasing to do again, but it was less of a thankless task on . Stung Stojkovic’s finger tips with a rising shot in the first half and Hoolahan’s selection meant he finally had somebody to link up with, but still struggled to assert himself on proceedings. Rating: 6

Substitutes: Daryl Murphy ruffled Serbian feathers when he came on for Hoolahan, getting Maksimovic sent off, having a big penalty claim turned down and forcing a good save from Stojkovic. Callum O’Dowda had a bright cameo. Rating: 7

Martin O’Neill: Deserves credit for freshening things up – although the manner of the Georgia defeat meant his hand was forced. Murphy’s introduction nearly reaped dividends, and he will be frustrated Ireland didn’t have the composure to level things up with a man advantage. Rating: 6

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.