Italy 0 Republic of Ireland 1: Player ratings
Gavin Cummiskey rates Martin O’Neill’s side after a famous win over the Azzurri in Lille
Jeff Hendrick nearly gave Ireland the lead in the first half with a fizzinf left footed effort. Photograph: PA
Shane Duffy and James McClean celebrate after Ireland’s 1-0 win over Italy in Lille. Photograph: Inpho/James Crombie
Robbie Brady was Ireland’s match winner, scoring a late header to give his side a 1-0 win over Italy in Lille. Photograph: Inpho/James Crombie
Had so little to do as Shane Duffy covered for his hesitancy with two corner conceding headers in either half. But no real worries.
Set the tone by decimating Mattia De Sciglio with a scything foul eary on.
Half chance of a lifetime fell to him on 56 minutes but blocked by Angelo Ogbonna’s heel.
Shane Duffy 8
Several authoritative headers but bobbling back pass to Randolph on 27 minutes betrayed a young mind jangling with nerves. Eventually settled then he dominated.
Deserved the promotion after John O’Shea and Ciaran Clark were out-muscled against Belgium. Honest to a fault.
Stephen Ward 5
Italian defenders easily coped with his ballooning crosses. That he found himself in possession, high up the field, on multiple occasions was not due to poor Italian marking.
James McCarthy 7
At 25, there is still time for his natural ability to be matched by the fanaticism shown by Coleman and McClean but without him toiling in behind, Brady and Hendrick could not shine.
Jeff Hendrick 8
Quality tournament so far. Left foot shot on eight minutes and right foot on 62 minutes both almost guided Ireland through. Cleverly mixed up deliveries with Brady to prove without any doubt that Italian defenders were better in the air.
James McClean 7
Patriot to his core. Final ball and touch, as usual, let him down but robbed of a penalty on 43 minutes when Federico Bernardeschi elbowed him to ground just as he was about to bury it .
Robbie Brady 8
Wonderful header from the hero. Took too much out of the ball at times, when an automatic Wes Hoolhan touch was needed, but put some quality deliveries into Italian box before racing in there to win it.
A genuine threat, especially at corners, but in 21 games the 33 year old striker has been given multiple chances to score for his country.
He will probably get one more against France.
Shocking, considering everything that has gone before, that Martin O’Neill turned to Aiden McGeady over Hoolahan with 20 minutes to go.
Hoolahan arrived five minutes later and delivered. Again.
Fickle, fickle gig. Changing your centre halves and dropping your most creative player looks a masterstroke now Ireland have progressed.
Saved by Hoolahan and Brady not McGeady.